Steppe sports capital

The Bashtanska AH in the Mykolayiv Oblast is constructing a swimming pool, sports complex and athletics centre.


By Dmytro Synyak

Semen Boychenko, unique athlete, a multiple world record holder, was born in 1912, in the lower reaches of Ingul, 30 km from Bashtanka. Despite the exceptional skills, Semen would never become a professional swimmer, if he did not serve in the navy – where the young man quickly became the first in all swimming-related disciplines. He was noticed, enrolled to the army sports team (Central Sports Club of the Army (CSKA)), and soon he traveled throughout Europe. Soviet journalists have repeatedly included Boychenko to the list of top ten USSR athletes, while foreign ones called him the “butterfly king”.

Semen Boychenko, world champion in swimming, and Kapitalina Vasylieva, the reason for his imprisonment

Ivan Rubskyi, head of the Bashtanska AH, with schoolchildren – future champions.

Monument to Semen Boychenko


“We can say that we have resurrected the memory of Boychenko, suppressed during Soviet times, He spent six years in Stalin's camps on allegations of anti-Soviet propaganda and agitation. In fact, Semen only showed excessive, as it seemed to authorities, attention to the girlfriend of Vasyl Stalin. Her name was Kapitalina Vasylieva, and shortly after the Boychenko’s imprisonment, she became the wife of a direct descendant of the “Father of Peoples”. When Vasyl Stalin demanded to get rid of a rival, the People's Commissariat of Internal Affaires (NKVD) and the Ministry for State Security looked up reports on Boychenko’s pre-war travels to take part in foreign competitions and quickly trumped up the case. That is how the multiple world record holder, whose popularity is quite comparable to the popularity of the modern American swimmer Michael Phelps, appeared in a logging camp near Solikamsk,” says Ivan Rubskyi, head of the Bashtanska AH.

“Now Semen Boychenko is not only our past, but also the future,” he continues. “We installed a monument to him, named the street after him. And soon our pool will be named after Boychenko as well...”

Future pool named after Boychenko

“Here will be our pool named after Boychenko. There will be competitions on ten tracks. And we will also renovate the roads! Don’t think that I plan to build a pool solely at the expense of the AH budget. We have invested only UAH 4.5 million of our funds. Another UAH 9 million were provided with subvention for socioeconomic development. And there are still funds from the State Fund for Regional Development, infrastructure subvention funds. Maybe something will be allocated by the Ministry of Sports, we are working on it. Yeah, I still forgot about the money of international donors, whom we have not yet addressed...”

Trial swimming race in the future pool

“According to preliminary calculations, our pool will cost about UAH 100 thousand per year. First of all, it will be small, only 21x25 metres wide. Secondly, in summer it will be heated with solar rays. It is very hot here in summer that you will, probably, hardly make anyone swim in an indoor pool. It was necessary to make the pool indoor and outdoor one at the same time.

The pool in Bashtanka grows in leaps and bounds

“We will build the third floor in the building nearby the pool. There we will place a hotel with 15 VIP rooms. And there we will build a hotel-type hostel with about 100 bunks from scratch. The hostel will be just next to the new sports complex,” explains the AH head.

The project of the new sports complex in the Bashtanska AH

The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE



youth sport article report


Миколаївська область


Баштанська територіальна громада


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