From 12 to 17 August the CYM European Sports Camp, known to all as the Olympiad, returned to Tarasivka, near Derby, Great Britain. Even after an eight year break since the last Olympiad at Tarasivka the organizers (specifically Bohdan Prykhidnyi - National Athletic Director, and Volodymyr Vovchuk - Campmaster for the Olympiad) did an excellent job organizing the week's activities.
In the 1970's and 80's these camps were organized by the late Yurii Diakivskyi, then National Athletic Director. This year's organizers were just participants in the camps. Following Mr. Diakivskyi's death in 1991 there were no Olympiads until 1997 (in France) followed in 1998 (in Germany). During the final evening's activities Mrs. Vira Diakivska, Mr. Diakivskyi's widow, was declared the Champion, in honor of her husband's work. In her short but emotional speech she said the best memorial to her husband would be the yearly continuation of the Olympiad, giving youth from across Europe, even around the world, an opportunity to interact with each other, as well as to strive for excellence.
This year's camp, named Chervona ruta, after the famous song by Volodymyr Ivasiuk (who would have turned 50 this year), was by far the largest of the last three years. Over 120 people took part in this year's camp, with 110 athletes from Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ukraine, and even Canada and the United States! The camp staff included: Komandant - Roman Panas, Campmaster - Volodymyr Vovchuk, Program Director - Bohdan Prykhidnyi, Secretary - Myroslava Finiv, Athletic Director - Ulana Buchok (Great Britain), Athletic Director - Borys Zadarko (Germany), Athletic Director - Angelica Tunska (France). Andrii Nesmachnyi, National Chairman CYM Germany, and Stepan Myroniuk, National Secretary of PLAST in Germany, also took part in activities.
Campers had the opportunity to take part in various competitions including football (soccer), volleyball, athletics (track & field), marksmanship, table tennis, and badminton, as well this year's addition of basketball, played on a recently-built court. In contrast to previous years, each camper could participate in every event.
In addition to the program of sports the campers visited Stratford-on-Avon, home of William Shakespeare. It appears the campers were not the first Ukrainian tourists to visit Stratford: brochures at Holy Trinity Church, burial place of Shakespeare, were also available in Ukrainian.
Ukrainian Independence Day (24 August) was also celebrated during camp. Athletic events were organized during the day at a stadium in Lester, along with a concert at the local Ukrainian club. Even though they received a late invitation to participate in the concert, the campers organized a 100 voice choir under the direction of Andrii Nesmachnyi. They sang Chervona ruta, by Volodymyr Ivasiuk, Rozpriahaite khoptsi koni, a folk song, and Dmytro Bortniansky's arrangement of Mnohaia lita.
A friendly atmosphere prevailed throughout the camp. In addition to athletic and cultural activities, evenings were filled with other entertainment. It was hard to say goodbye - the 'farewell party' lasted until dawn, with more than a few teary eyes at having to leave friends behind. But everyone can take joy in the fact that the next European gather is only a few months away. The CYM European Winter camp will take place late December at its traditional home of Frankopole in Belgium.