Sunday. Kiev. Valentin SKRIPIN with his disciples by Sofus HEGEMONISM, Theodore GARDEROBOM and Jakob CARLSEN. Photo of Paul KUBANOVA, “SE” in Ukraine”

In an interview with “SE” a native of Kharkov, working in Oslo, told why specialists from the former Soviet Union rarely stay in Norway permanently, and also explained why as there hardly any basic sport gymnastics brings awards of the world Championships and Olympic medals.

Party Games in Rio stian Harahap became the first Norwegian gymnast for the past 16 years, who managed to at least qualify for the Olympics.

In July of last year in Hungarian győr hosted the European youth Olympic festival, – says the press attache of the National Olympic Committee Irina Kalita. Among the participants were Ukrainian and Norwegian gymnasts.

And then suddenly coach last during a performance of one of our children cried out: “Stop!” We did not even know that he knows Russian, because with the athletes speak Norwegian, and he was from Ukraine.

Valentin Skripin for about ten years in Norway. At the international tournament “Ukraine International Cup” held last weekend in Kiev, he brought three gymnasts – the current Vice-champion of the country on all-round Sofus Heggenes and two juniors Theodor Roald Garderud and Jacob Gudima Carlsen parties above mentioned festival in Gyor.


– I was eighteen when I finished my sports career, – says Valentin Skripin. – Any big I have not achieved success. Played for city in the championship of Ukraine. Fulfilled the standard of master of sports, And then, it was in the early 2000s, we received a proposal from England. Alexander Shiryaev, the coach who I trained and the other two guys, took it and left. One of them Ruslan Panteleymonov in 2012 became the European champion in the team in the UK. And I did not have a visa, I was left alone, the motivation to continue to train was no more.

– In Ukraine you have time to coach or become a coach after moving to Norway?

– Very long. I worked at the club Rustam Sharipov, when it first opened in Kharkov. But he closed very quickly for some reason. In Norway I found myself purely by chance. Met on vacation with people who worked there. They offered me a place in a small club, “Sannes”. Everything went well, but at some point I wanted more and I moved to Oslo. For six years they live there and work in the biggest gymnastics club in Norway. In “Sandnes” in my place came Andrei Balyasny. He is also a citizen of Kharkiv. At the time we studied together in boarding school, very good friends. And when I asked someone to recommend instead, I called him.

– Looks like the hall in the biggest gymnastics club in Norway? And if enough of wishing there to do?

– We have two rooms, they are very large with good equipment, mats and shells is relatively new, in General, in working conditions to complain about. Norway’s artistic gymnastics – it’s like a basic sport, therefore at the initial stage of working very much. But after three or four years, and children enrolled in ski sports. Norway is a winter country and gymnastics it is difficult to compete with ski races, ski jumping, and is also popular everywhere football. In General, when it comes to the professional level, there are units.

The championship of Norway, for example, is six or seven all-rounders, and with specialists on individual shells 15 people.


– In your experience, is it happened that it was particularly a pity to let go talented, with great natural talent for gymnastics, child in other sports?

– Talent is relative, relative work. Sofus has HughesNet, who spoke on Ukraine International Cup among seniors, began studying gymnastics when he was twelve years old. By the standards of many countries it is impossible, and if possible, the trainer is simply not worth it for the child at this age to take. In Norway come from. At Sofus good performance and great desire. As a result, for eighteen years, he gradually begins to come to a decent enough level. Last year, first performed at the Norwegian national Championships for seniors in the all-around and took second place.

– How many of the country clubs, cultivating sports gymnastics and how it is accessible to the average Norwegian?

– Amateur clubs a lot, professional – three-four and they are very much scattered across the country. Gymnastics, as a basic sport that, in principle, available to all, price depends on the group and the number of classes. On a professional level it becomes harder. Because even the internationals have to pay for training and they train six days a week. Fees and travel to competitions except world and European Championships, to be paid in half with the club. But still, twelve months of training, plus five or six tournaments a year – the amount is quite impressive, for many parents it is expensive.

So we took the opportunity to take part in this competition “Ukraine International Cup”. In our time, finances a lot to decide, but here the organizers are paying for food and hotel. I even Norwegians in this respect set the example of Ukraine. Despite all the difficulties experienced by the country, she was able such competitions to organize. We, too, will be an international tournament in about a month. Ukraine, or rather the team of one of the cities, by the way, is going to come. And going mainly the Scandinavian countries, and all. Too expensive.

– Favorite exercises for your players are world stars or they have role models among compatriots?

– More world, of course, the same Oleg Vernaeve. They watch his performances, and they wanted to visit his homeland in Ukraine. The only thing that is unpleasant surprise, it infiza hall in which we trained the first day. I didn’t even know how to explain to the children for whom it is. Everything else was good, on Friday took a walk around the downtown. On Saturday after the competition tried Ukrainian food, particularly soup. For me as a coach it was important to give children the opportunity to participate in such a big event without a press, so they were not feeling the pressure that usually feels the athlete when it qualified for any important competition.


– With the wards, as we have already noticed, you communicate in the Norwegian language. It was difficult to learn it?

– I would not say, although there are people who twenty years ago came to Norway, but did not speak Norwegian. And I immediately set a goal to learn the language. Because they did not come for a couple of years to just make money, planned to stay longer. In Norway a lot of positive things, unfortunately, not in Ukraine. The mentality, the rules are all pretty clear.

Of course, there all speak English but if you speak Norwegian language is a big plus for you. First, with documents easier, and secondly, communication with children is at a different level, but is not limited to the directions in the exercise “straighten arms, bend your legs.” The guys who came here for the tournament, I work from the beginning, and our beginning is much later than in other countries. Juniors I took when they were ten. Sofus, as I have said, came to me in twelve years. We spend so much time together, we have common conversation topics, even politics Norwegian and Ukrainian can discuss.

– And they know any words in Russian?

– Of course, I know, but it’s not quite the word I’d like to know. (Smiles). At competitions, they cross paths with Russian-speaking teams, well teach each other. Of course, I know the basic: Hello, thank you, please. And coming in here trying to practice.

In Norway a lot of coaches from the former Soviet Union?

– A lot, but few take root. Different system, different mentality, children have a very different upbringing. Let’s start with the fact that the country is still quite rich and the motivation as such they are hard to find. Besides, it is impossible to single anyone out. In Norway even in the school grade until the eighth grade. Good or bad, I don’t know. But the country develops. If the child is not very suitable for some sport, but he still wants them to do, then this desire is encouraged. As such, selection is not, these professionals, the Amateurs, all are engaged together. Although the club has done a lot to the coach still had the opportunity to work depending on the level of training athletes.

And how many gymnasts train in Norway?

– Two training sessions a day with only fifteen years. The boarding school there as such, but there is the possibility at school in the past three years to choose sports, and then added a morning workout four times a week. Education is always there in the first place. And if the exam is in school coincides with what the competition until the championship, then the child goes to the exam. And yet, gymnastics is gradually evolving, with good kids and good results, although because of the structure of the training and routine we still difficult to compete with the Ukraine.

But I would venture to suggest that you don’t regret that work and live there and not here?

– Yes and no. It turns out that I am a stranger here and there, too, as good as didn’t speak Norwegian, no matter what good results my students did not show. Besides, I would like every day to speak in their native language, to eat our food, have a social circle that is not in Norway. Yes, there are many Russian speakers, but it’s still a little something. Wages not millions, as many think, but the prices are quite high. Working with a coach to live pretty hard, had to earn. But still it’s better than that now, as far as I know, there are coaches in Ukraine.

Anna SAVCHIK, Sport-Express in Ukraine