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Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the candidate for the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, addressed the joint parliamentary committees and spoke about the international tournaments to be held in Georgia in 2021 and the decision made by the Georgian government, to make significant amendments in the scholarship program.
According to Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Georgia has gained good experience in hosting large-scale international events and sports organizations with the support of the Ministry, and despite the pandemic, to continue to host international tournaments, of course, in full compliance with the protocol drawn up by the Ministry of Health and action plan with international sports federations.
The matches of the qualifying round of the European Basketball Championship held on February 19-21 at the Tbilisi Sports Palace are an example. This was a test before the final stage of the European Championship, which will be hosted by Tbilisi in 2022.
It is important that the decision to hold sports competitions in Georgia was made by the international sports federations taking into account the good epidemiological situation in our country.
Among the international sports events to be held in Georgia in the coming future are the Ski Cross World Cup to be held in Bakuriani in late February and early March, together with a prestigious international tournament to be held at the end of March - Judo Grand Slam, which will be hosted by Georgia for the first time.
In addition, in the coming years, Georgia will host the 2025 European Winter Youth Olympic Festival, the 2023 World Championships in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and the European Under-21 Championship 2023 together with Romania.
Whilst addressing the parliament, Mikheil Chkhenkeli noted that by the decision of the Georgian government, in 2021 the program of support for the Olympic champions was expanded. The list of beneficiaries includes the winners of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the world and European champions in the Olympic sport. In total, the number of beneficiaries increased from 33 to 122, which is a significant step in terms of supporting our proud athletes and veterans.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli also stressed the importance of the process of preparation for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and said that our athletes enjoy the full support of the Ministry, which is evidenced by the successful start of the sports year and numerous medals won in international and including licensing tournaments.
According to Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the Ministry has developed a strategy for the development of sports infrastructure over the next 10 years and has made increasing access to sports one of its priorities. Despite the pandemic, the construction of large-scale sports infrastructure in Tbilisi and the regions has not stopped.
UEFA 4th category football stadium with a capacity of 20,000 spectators was built in Batumi. The construction of a multifunctional sports complex in Batumi will be completed soon, and a basketball hall of international standards for 10,000 spectators will be built in Tbilisi, which will host the Eurobasket in 2022.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli paid special attention to talking about parasportsmen and noted that parasports are a subject of special care by the Georgian government. That is why a new, national paracenter is planned to be built in Tbilisi, which will contribute to the further development of parasport.