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Adjaran Gov’t Privatizes Sports School to Improve Overall Regional Facilities

During the Rio Olympics 2016, seven Georgian athletes became Olympic winners. Three were from the Adjara Autonomous Republic, which counts 10% of the Georgian population. This achievement revealed the importance of sports and the need for appropriate space and facilities for athletes to be trained in.

“Sport has always been a key direction for Georgians to show off our talent. Adjara is the most developed, active and successful in national and international championships and Olympics. As the conditions that athletes have had to work and train in are not great, the Adjaran government is trying to improve this and is supporting the building of new facilities,” says Mukhran Vakhtangadze, Member of Parliament, first world champion in wrestling of independent Georgia.

The Adjaran government has made a deal with construction company Orbi and privatized two buildings of the current sports school ‘Basko,’ where numerous sportspersons train. Batumi inhabitants are protesting the privatization, saying the government should not consider the interests of investors alone and sacrifice the sports center for building hotels. An online petition on manifest.ge has so far been signed by nearly 2000 people.

The head of the Basko, Irma Nizharadze, says that the sports sections will be moved to different public schools and there will be no interruption in the trainings. “Instead, we are building a multifunctional sports center in Batumi on Leonidze Street. The center will include space and facilities for different sports like wrestling, Taikwando, dancing, and more. In addition, the sports center will have a public swimming pool for synchronized swimmers and water-polo,” she claimed.

The Minister of Finance and Economy has a primary draft of the building, which will be finalized in the near future following consultations with specialists. After the completion of the design work of the project acquisition and construction, a tender will be announced, after which construction will begin.

The project also envisages the construction of the very first bridge for pedestrians in Batumi, predicted as a tourist attraction, in which 1,500.000 GEL will be invested.

Government officials say the new sports center will be completed in August this year and will host the European Championship in Handball.

Mariko Natsarishvili

19 January 2017 19:16