The second wind

Teenagers jogging in park of Chechersk, serious clerks at “Gomselmash” works making morning exercises, gyms full of young people… Such scenes were impossible in Gomel region in late 80’s
Teenagers jogging in park of Chechersk, serious clerks at “Gomselmash” works making morning exercises, gyms full of young people… Such scenes were impossible in Gomel region in late 80’s.

After the Chernobyl accident physical culture was in decline here. Luckily, scientists understood what was necessary in this
situation and the state helped to revive health trends.

Personnel of physical culture department of Gomel State University still remember how it was. Physical training were practically blot out from school curricula in the affected regions. Scientists believed that exercises led to radio nuclide accumulation in body. However, Gomel researchers decided to set practices against theory.

As an experiment, they introduced intensified physical training in some schools of Gomel. One year after these children were examined in a Baltic sanatorium, and the results were amazing: no defection! Though children from Gomel who used to come to the Baltic, were distinguished with poor health before that. Since then Gennady Narskin, dean of physical culture department, is not just convinced but insists: jogging in the morning, swimming, gymnastics, refuse to pernicious habits are the most sure way to keep and strengthen health even in post-Chernobyl conditions. Besides, today Gomel scientists are developing a special exercise program to help eliminating radio nuclides from body.

It’s been ten years already when the benefits of getting physical are evident to everyone in Belarus. Our country aims at healthy way of life. And Gomel region affected by the accident, is no exclusion. On the contrary, today this region claims to be the most sportive one. Vasily Zharankov, chief of regional department of physical culture, told us about latest plans:

— First of all, we develop children sport movement and increase the number of health improvement and sport clubs which kids can attend. This is not just for the sake of future sport stars but rather for health improvement. We also build large sport centers. Several years ago Ice Palace opened in Gomel. Today a modern health improvement complex with an ice rink and a 50m swimming pool is under construction in Zhlobin, a skiing route is being built in Mozyr. Imagine how many children and their parents will have opportunity to spend time with benefit for their health!

Healthy life philosophy is not confined to new skating rinks, swimming pools or gyms. First and foremost, it implies an urge to be healthy and strong, independently of age. This is why officials are so active showing personal example of training. Alexander Jacobson, region governor, can be often seen at volleyball or soccer fields. Alexander Derkach, chief of regional traffic police department, is fond of winter bathing in ice-holes. Tatiana Filimonchik, head of Sovetsky district administration, is permanent winner of shooting competitions.

In fact, health improvement ideas are initiated by authorities and then implemented in masses. “Gomselmash” enterprise, our giant of agriculture machinery construction, was the first to introduce exercises into the working day schedule. The radio invites personnel to exercise, offices are locked and clerks get physical guided by radio, for 15–20 minutes. “Gomselmash” administration say such warm-up is useful for everyone. On one hand, it’s healthy recreation. And on the other hand, it brings significant rise in working efficiency. However, there are even stronger stimuli at the enterprise. Those who attend sport clubs and do not take sick lists, have increase of salary. Today the example of “Gomselmash” is widely spread in Gomel region and nearly every large enterprise has its own sporting club.

...Grigory Denisenko, Hero of the Soviet Union and instructor of Yuri Gagarin, is in his 80’s now but fresh, cheerful and stiff. Every morning he walks to the Sozh river where he swims until late autumn. He is checking the theory of motion prolonging life, on himself. Thus, he always tells the younger generation about enormous capacities of human body revealed under condition a human treats his health reasonably. Naturally, the old stager never attends discos but he is convinced they would bring benefits if young people gave up smoking there for three hours at least. Why? Just because it’s harmful. And out of fashion.

by Violetta Dralyuk
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