Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.
Minister Hrachya Rostomyan reported that a great deal of work has been done to spread physical culture and mass sports among the population, including 11 events that had been attended by about 113 thousand people. Free trainings were organized every week in 6-8 sporting events in Yerevan and different provinces with the participation of professional trainers with a view to promoting a healthy lifestyle among the public at large. Four investment projects were implemented in cooperation with the private sector, including the Olympic Swimming Pool and the Gym Hall, for which USD 4 million was invested. A new swimming pool was built in Idjevan, a new gym in Sisian where over 200 children are being trained in different events.
Construction work for Insport, a sports and fitness complex, will soon be completed in the administrative district of Kanaker-Zeytun in Yerevan. The program is estimated at USD 2.4 million. The complex is expected to open its doors in June.
Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan attached importance to promoting a healthy lifestyle, stressing that a complex program should be implemented. “This should be paid greater attention in 2018. We need to expand the geographical coverage of similar events. Each regional administration should be properly informed about this policy of yours, since we want to have healthy citizens,” the Head of Government said. The Premier considered it necessary to spread a healthy lifestyle among schoolchildren through physical culture.
It was reported that an interdepartmental commission had been set up jointly with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, Ministry of Education and Science to modernize the academic curriculum of physical culture. The responsible officials assured the Prime Minister that the updated curriculum will be fully introduced as early as in 2019.
The Prime Minister told them to assess how much money is needed to provide schools with sports equipment so that the problem might be solved over years. Karen Karapetyan suggested considering the possibility of handing over the sports schools functioning under the Ministry to private management on order to promote a healthy lifestyle and deal with specific tasks.
Hrachya Rostomyan advised that such projects are underway in Idjevan and Hrazdan, as a result of which the local swimming pools are being reconstructed. The Prime Minister was also informed about the elaboration of the Sport Tourism Development Concept. Karen Karapetyan deemed it necessary to take specific steps in cooperation with the State Tourism Committee.
The need for promoting physical culture among vulnerable school-age children and children left without parental care was highlighted. “It is important to pay special attention and provide maximum support to children from socially vulnerable families. They should have the opportunity to engage in sports: that is our duty,” Karen Karapetyan emphasized.
A competition was held for the presidential prize, referred to as “Best Child Care and Protection Sports Facility,” attended by 300 participants from 12 child care institutions. The competition was held in 5 categories. During the meeting, reference was also made to the development of mass sports in Yerevan and the provinces.
Summing up the consultation, Karen Karapetyan said, “Regional, community leaders should be the bearers and distributors of your policy. We need to streamline the activities of sports schools in the fastest possible manner with the private sector’s involvement. Sporting tourism, eco-tourism, extreme tourism: we must send out attractive offers from Armenia, presenting our advantages, while raising awareness thereof in our society. As a school subject, physical education is extremely important, and we must focus on it at primary, secondary schools, vocational institutions and universities.”