Visit to the sports and recuperation complex Mandarin in Minsk

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It is needed to build simple and affordable high-quality sports facilities and swimming pools, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the visit to the new multi-purpose sports and recuperation complex Mandarin in Minsk on 12 November.

The head of state was informed about the efforts to promote sport and recuperation services in Minsk and the performance of the new facility. It was established upon the instruction of the President to implement the 2010 electoral mandate. The project development began in January 2012; the construction lasted from January 2013 to October 2015. The project was financed by the Minsk budget and the state-run company Aqua-Minsk.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed that the complex has an aqua thermal zone, it offers swimming lessons, fitness and martial arts classes. There is a swimming pool with five lanes, a hot tub, a thermal complex with a hammam, a Russian sauna, a salt bath, and a Mediterranean bath. The center also has gyms and rooms for martial arts and fitness. The complex includes a bowling center, a hairdressing and beauty salon, catering facilities. It has been a popular place since the very first days because the facility is located not far from the residential district and there are no similar facilities nearby.

After the visit to the complex and a conversation with its visitors, the head of state praised the conditions for sport and physical education which have been created there.

The head of state noted that a lot of facilities have been built using the budget funds of state-run organizations. “People should understand that such palaces are expensive and the services there are expensive,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

In his opinion, today it is need to build simple and affordable swimming pools and sports facilities. He gave an instruction to work out projects of affordable swimming pools and sports facilities in the near future. “Everything should be simple, beautiful, and of high quality,” the head of state believes. He added that quality is the main factor.

Apart from that, the head of state urged the Sport and Tourism Ministry and the MinskCity Hall to turn unused premises into sports facilities. They will provide cheap services because no huge resources will be needed to start using such facilities.

Sport facilities should operate at full capacity from dawn till dusk so that people could go in for sports at the time of their choosing, the President said.

The head of state underlined that once a facility is built, it is necessary to think about ways to use it wisely. “Once you build a [sport] palace, you have to organize things in a way to allow people to work out here from six in the morning to 24 in the evening. Everything should be filled up and in use,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is inadmissible to allow costly sport facilities to operate ineffectively with an insufficient number of visitors. In particular, the head of state was surprised that the cycling track and the tennis courts were not operating at full capacity. “Don’t we have people willing to ride a bicycle or play tennis?” wondered the President. Speaking about Western countries, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that tennis courts over there are always in use.

The President said he wanted civil servants to take care of the workload of sport facilities in Minsk by to taking all the necessary measures. The popularization of healthy lifestyle and sport plays a major role in it.

It is needed to analyze the prospects of making Belarusian fitness equipment, the Belarus President said. New fitness equipment is rather expensive. Taking into consideration vigorous development of sport and the construction of sports facilities, huge funds are needed to buy imported equipment. In this context, the head of state urged to analyze the prospects of making fitness equipment in Belarus. “It is needed to produce Belarusian fitness equipment,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. The head of state said that those who will make such equipment will earn good money.

These import substitution efforts will help reduce the cost of the projects to build sports facilities and thus will reduce prices for their services. Large Belarusian enterprises will be involved in the manufacture of Belarusian fitness equipment.

The President stressed that more efforts should be invested in promoting physical education, sport and healthy lifestyle in the country. “These are real health factories. The more people attend them, the fewer hospital patients we will have. The state will only benefit from it,” said the President.

In his words, there should be more sports centers within walking distance in Minsk and across the country in general. These should include not only gyms but also open-air sport grounds, bicycle tracks. The President also stressed that prices in such sport facilities cannot be exorbitant. “No doubt these facilities should not operate at a loss, but there is no need to skyrocket prices,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.