The cultural and sports festival Vytoki. A Step Toward Olympus” took place in Bobruisk on 17 July.
“The Vytoki festival is part of our efforts to encourage our children to take up sports. Here young Belarusians can not only watch other children train, but also try their hand at some exercises. If a person does sports at a young age, he/she will grow into a stronger and healthier adult. Therefore, I believe that there should be as many such cultural and sports festivals in our country as possible,” Mikhail Orda, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, said.
An area before Bobruisk Arena was the central venue of the festival. This venue was divided into several thematic zones. Visitors were invited to take part in a large Olympic quest with many sports competitions and contests, could watch athletes perform, get recommendations from famous coaches and Olympians. In addition, the festival featured exhibitions, food courts and a family recreation area.
A large thematic zone encompassed the sites of the traffic police, the Emergencies Ministry, the regional police department, the Department of Protection at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and other agencies and departments. For example, the Bobruisk emergencies management department put up the site "The Emergencies Ministry-Land" to introduce children and their parents to fire and rescue sports, the K9 service. They also conducted exhibition performances, master classes, put together an exhibition of firefighting and rescue equipment, and a water show.
The draw of the exhibition were helicopters of the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus. Children and adults had a chance to take a photo next to the world's largest mass-produced transport helicopter Mi-26, to take a peek into the cargo compartment and the cockpit and to take a sit in a pilot's seat.
Bobruisk sports schools arranged interactive sites across 28 sports. The most popular were those of the Bobruisk children's and youth sports school of Olympic reserve and the Belarusian Boxing Federation. Right in the open air, there were wrestling and tatami mats, punching bags and other gear. Experienced coaches and young athletes put up exhibition performances in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, taekwondo and judo.
“Boxing is a popular sport in Bobruisk. We have very strong long-standing traditions that have been cultivated for more than 70 years,” said Sergei Bolbas, a senior boxing coach of the city of Bobruisk. “Our boxing athletes always perform well at major national and international competitions. For example, Aliaksandr Radzionau from Bobruisk has made it to the national Olympic team and is now preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It is very important for me to demonstrate my favorite sport at such a large cultural and sports event as the Vytoki festival. I am always happy to see children make their first steps in the sport and achieve the first results.I see a future champion in every one of them. Any of them could become the next Aliaksandr Radzionau, who trained with me since childhood,” he added.
According to the organizers, it is important to get feedback about such events from visitors. “Bobruisk is a vibrant and welcoming city. Local residents did not overlook any of the festival's events,” co-organizer of the festival, BelBrandAudit Director Valentina Dynich noted. “The festival is not just a celebration for people – it is a source of new opportunities. For example, the events of the first day were meant to promote domestic tourism and make visitors familiar with historical and cultural heritage of Bobruisk. I am sure that the festival helps popularize local landmarks, which is an important task. People should learn about such sites and places of interest that are no less significant than the more hyped locations,” she believes.
The leg of the festival in Bobruisk rounded off with a ceremony to award winners of the vocal and art competitions and a concert featuring popular Belarusian artists: Belarusy band, Janet, Valery Shmat, Gunesh, Zina Kupriyanovich, Viktoria Aleshko, Jazz City Band, ByCity, Alexander Voronishche and Drozdy band.
The Vytoki festival will now move to Soligorsk. The city will host the event on 22-24 July. The 2021 edition of the festival will wrap up with a large-scale celebration in Minsk in late August.
The organizers of the Vytoki festival are the National Olympic Committee of Belarus, the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, the Arthaos and BelBrandAudit companies.