Interview with Andrei Frusinoiu – representative of the Romanian Kayak-Canoe Federation
The cross-border conflagration had a major impact on all sporting disciplines in Ukraine. Andrei Frusinoiu, representative of the Romanian Kayak-Canoe Federation, chose to explain in detail in an interview the situation of the Ukrainian kayak-canoe team and what impact the involvement of the Superbet Foundation had in hosting athletes from across the border.
- How many athletes are now supported by the Superbet Foundation?
“Until June 4, we hosted 54 people from the national team of Ukraine. Many of the athletes came accompanied by their families and we were glad to be able to help them all. Currently, we have 8 athletes in the Nicolae Navasart National Sports Complex and their coach.”
- What is the training schedule of the athletes?
“Ukrainian athletes have a personal trainer. We have a Ukrainian-speaking coach on the team staff. Training is done twice a day. We have the first training from 9:30 to 12:00 and the evening training from 15:30 to 18:00. We provide athletes with 3 meals a day, accommodation and everything they need for professional development. Arriving at our sports base, we offered them new kayaks with the help of the Romanian Kayak-Canoe Federation.”
- How was the first contact with them?
“The request to receive the Ukrainian athletes came from the International Kayak-Canoe Federation. Later, we organized a social center inside the Nicolae Navasart National Sports Complex, the federation being the support entity in this endeavor. The problem started with the food funds. The state leadership offered us a support of 20 lei per athlete, and we made every effort to offer the Ukrainian athletes a menu similar to that of the Romanian athletes. We managed to overcome this problem with the financial involvement of the Superbet Foundation.”
- Do you find it difficult to collaborate with athletes from across the border?
“No, it’s not difficult, the only problem was the language barrier, but we solved it with our colleague Nichita Şerban, one of the coaches from the team. He is always with them and makes communication easier.”
- Do you think that the political situation affects them professionally?
“It’s clear that it affects them very much. I spoke to their coaches, they were all very thoughtful. Every day they received bad news related to the situation at home. Being a state of war, they were first notified that their budget had been cut. Later, they received the news that their salaries could no longer be paid and that they had to return to the country to participate in the war. A Ukrainian coach was showing me a video of a rocket landing a few tens of meters from his house. It is clear that these dramas are reflected in their performances.”
- What competitions do Ukrainian athletes train for?
“A large part of them participated in the World Cup in June. In addition to this event, they had two other competitions that they participated in. I was first in Poland, then in the Czech Republic. They got medals there too. Those who stayed with us are training for future competitions. “
- Is it possible to nationalize them and select them for the national team?
“The 8 athletes who stayed with us want to be naturalized. They expressed their desire to stay with our national team. They thought it would be better for them to compete for the Romanian team. If we succeed in naturalizing them, we will send them all to sports clubs to be financially supported by them. For now, this possibility does not exist because they are foreign citizens and the Romanian clubs belong to the state.”
- What message would you send to other Ukrainian athletes?
“I wish them success in everything they propose. I would like this conflict across the border to end as soon as possible and for everyone to return to their families. I also wish them to pursue their passions because sport always brings people together.”
Andrei Frusinoiu sees the future of Ukrainian athletes with good eyes. With the necessary support, the Ukrainian athletes hosted by the Nicolae Navasart National Sports Complex will also be able to perform for the Romanian team at international competitions.