One of the most modern sports centers in Europe may be built in the Bieszczady. On the initiative of Marshal Marek Kuchciński, a plan for sports investments in Podkarpackie is being prepared, the heart of which is to be the Central Sports Centre.
- There is enough money in the state budget to make investment decisions, we encourage our authorities to try to create a COS in the Bieszczady in Podkarpacie", declares Marek Kuchciński. However, the declarations do not end there. The Marshal's actions led to the fact that the political decision has already been made. - Podkarpackie will have a modern sports center in Ustrzyki Dolne. It is a great chance for the whole region. The aim is to build a modern Central Sports Centre - says the Marshal.
What does it mean in practice? COS are the places where national teams train at various levels. Polish sports associations train there youth and world-class athletes. Such centers are therefore besieged by athletes from all over the country. However, if they are well-equipped and have modern infrastructure, they also generate interest from foreign visitors. However, this is not the end. Often COS is the heart of sports life for the entire region. Specialized trainings, coaching consultations, scientific symposia are held there. Hundreds of athletes are looking for accommodation near COS. This brings new opportunities for the development of hotel, medical and rehabilitation facilities.
A good example is the COS in Zakopane and Cetniewo, where the best live permanently in the resort, and dozens of training camps are organized simultaneously around these facilities. It may be no different in the case of Ustrzyki Dolne. There are ski jumps, downhill and cross-country skiing trails, and places for water sports.
- We already call Bieszczady COS the "eighth element". We have seven Central Sports Centres in Poland: in Cetniewo, Spala, Szczyrk, Zakopane, Warsaw, Władysławowo, Giżycko and Wałcz. This one will be another one in the sports puzzle, which is also supposed to stimulate the region economically. One of the fundamental conditions is the cooperation of local authorities - emphasizes Marshal Kuchciński.
Words about cooperation are confirmed by Marek Andruch, Bieszczady district governor:
- The idea of COS was initiated by Marshal Marek Kuchciński. It was he who put forward the idea of building COS in Ustrzyki Dolne, which would cooperate with other centers of the Winter Sports Centre. The implementation of the investment was to serve the development and activation of the Bieszczady Mountains, using its natural advantages, without harming the environment. The Marshal then inspired further activities of local authorities and thematic meetings in his office in Warsaw in the Sejm and it is his authority which makes it possible to concretise this idea - reveals Andruch.
The construction of COS means not only the development of sports, but also hotel, medical and communication infrastructure. Greater traffic of athletes and tourists is an opportunity for the development of the airport in Arłamów, and the construction of a wide road is also planned. At the same time, investments in sports-related facilities are being made throughout the Podkarpackie Province (e.g. the modern Rehabilitation and Sports Centre in Sanok).
- It is estimated that the Centre itself can generate around 100 jobs. The second as many can be created with the cooperation in commercial terms, ski slopes and ski jumps - this gives opportunities for development which no other sports center in Poland has - explains Marek Kuchciński.
Thus, in Ustrzyki Dolne a sports hall with an auditorium for about 1000 people is to be built together with professional back-up facilities, swimming pools, including a 50-meter Olympic swimming pool, a sports hotel, an athletics stadium, outdoor fields, tennis courts and additional facilities, e.g. a ski and roller track with a bituminous surface, a sports shooting range, and in one of the locations additionally a marina and hangars for kayaks and rowing boats.
The cost of the investment is estimated at 200-250 million PLN - explains Marek Andruch. - After the meeting on January 17th in Warsaw at the Marshal's office a team was set up, headed by the director of COS Tomasz Kozinski. There are two chosen locations in the Ustrzyki Dolne commune, the preliminary concept for these locations has been made, and now the preliminary work will be carried out in order to choose one of the concepts, inventory, geological, geodetic, environmental and legal recognition of the investment. A Sports Functions Program is also being created. This kind of preparatory work will take about one year. The project will be implemented in stages. The opening is tentatively planned for 2023-2024 - explains the starost.
The construction of such a center is also supported by the Minister of Investment and Development Jerzy Kwieciński, the Ministry of Sport and the mayor of Przemyśl Robert Choma. - The Central Sports Centre will increase the tourist potential. We are glad that our region has been noticed and thus its development will start - says the President.
Text Marta Olejnik
Meeting on the Central Sports Center in the office of the Speaker of the Sejm (January 17, 2018). In the photo, among others, min. Jarosław Stawiarski, COS director Mariusz Kałużny, Tomasz Kusiński, min. Cezariusz Lesisz, min. Leszek Skiba
Photo by Rafał Zambrzycki