Sport Life Group

Come out of the ruins

November 16, 2017
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How to benefit from the vacant “slow mover” of the government infrastructure.

Abandoned, with chipped facade paint and rickety walls, with the signs of Soviet symbols above the entrance space “former” community centres, sports palaces, camps and sports schools… There are a great many such institutions around the country. Year by year, they decay, their halls become covered by leek and rib grass, bats nest in attics, and dogs and sottish beggars stay overnight in dried pools. 

On a conservative estimate today Ukraine has over one thousand of objects of social, cultural and sports infrastructure which are not used for the purpose intended. This is several dozens of millions of square meters of vacant useful space. The space that could not only generate profit for someone, but be an anchor of social or recreational infrastructure of the city or district. Demand for such premises from the business sector — in particular, business in sports sphere and fitness sphere — is just huge. There is an absurd situation. On the one hand, a lot of vacant premises are a dead weight for the local budgets or State Property Fund. A list of the object of the government property on the website of the Fund is tearjerker. Everything could be found there in different categories: from community centres, health centres, rehabilitation centres, recreation and retreat centres, sports and health camps, tourist and sport bases to building of former schools, bath and saunas and separate pools. “There are over one thousand vacant objects of the government property only around the country, — says Ruslan Bortnyk, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management of Policy. — We have calculated. Some even are incomplete. Half-ghosts, ruins, junk. They all don’t work, and many years — either since the days of the Soviet Union or went bankrupt already at the time of independence”. 

On the other hand — a core business — sports and recreational — rushes about in one place suffering from the lack of space. 

The situation of redesign of Zaporizhstal sports complex into a modern health and fitness centre is a bright example of fruitful cooperation of the state and business. The group of companies Sport Life has agreed to do this. 

“An option of attraction of real professionals of sports management is the most promising. From a sport development perspective in Zaporizhzhia it’s essential that not a thousand of sportsmen to visit the sports complex on a regular basis, but dozens of thousands of Zaporizhzhia inhabitants. Due to step-by-step reconstruction Zaporizhzhia inhabitants could continue to do sport, train, participate in competitions that would still be held on the basis of sports complex”, — commented Rostyslav Shurma, Director General of PAO “Zaporizhstal”. 

Following the renovation, the objects of Soviet infrastructure change from an afflicting spending item of the city budget to a unique sports complex that helps not only to develop business inside the country, but to raise Olympic champions, hold the world-class competitions. 

The European Diving Championship, for instance, was held very recently in the territory of one of Sport Life sports club, and the participants from Ukraine won the honourable championship. “Brilliantly organized big sports event, the entire Ukraine could be proud of, as well as of Euro 2012 or Eurovision organization” — noted Dmytro Yekimov, founder of group of companies Sport Life. — “Today we see significant benefits the society and state get when private business builds sports infrastructure. Our more than 50 fitness clubs also have grounds ready to host the world-class swimming, box and other martial arts, squash, strength and dancing disciplines competition. And a growth of Sport Life network to 150 fitness clubs in the coming three years could be seriously regarded as a tremendous contribution into the development of sports infrastructure, mass health improvement of the country population. We would be ready to host the European and World Championships in dozens of sports!”

Experts estimate today a demand of sports and recreational business for unclaimed and vacant space is literally huge. Not only a desire of both parties, but also dynamism among local population tired to live surrounded by the half-ruined non-housing (in every sense of the word) stock is necessary for the contact between the owners of the areas and business.