We are bringing the Klitschko sisters to our foundation

In March, the annual gala night of the Klitschko Foundation collected a record amount of $3 million. In October, the brainchild of Vitaly and Volodymyr received yet another award from the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum. This was the reason we spoke with the director of the Foundation, Alina Nosenko, who told us all about the brightest auction lots of the last gala night, the projects implemented this year, and also who consulted Volodymyr Klitschko on the Foundation’s new logo.

What unites Zmiev, Druzhkovka and Izum

Alina, the Klitschko Foundation has received another award from the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum for making the greatest investment in the field of sports and healthy lifestyles. How much has the Foundation invested in this area in 2015?

More than 6 million UAH. This is the third time that the Ukrainian forum of philanthropists presented prizes and awards to organizations that are accountable and transparent. This year the award was held on the eve of the European Day of Foundations and Donors, which is celebrated across the continent. We have already received our third award for the largest investment in the development of sports and supporting healthy lifestyles in the category of 1 to 10 million UAH.

What projects does the Klitschko Foundation implement this year in the field of sports?

We traditionally hold the international boxing tournament for youth with prizes from the Klitschko brothers. The tournament took place in Berdichev, in September, and was attended by 14 national teams. In parallel, in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation, we are now installing 20 sporting sites across Ukraine. Recently, our team has established platforms in Izum, Zmiev (Kharkiv region) and Druzhkovka (Donetsk region). Then we will go to the villages and regional centers of the Western Ukraine and the south of the country. By the end of October all of the sites will be handed over. Kherson region was the most active in filing out applications for the installation of sports grounds.



What are the problems which you face during the implementation of the projects?

Difficulties arise when the Foundation implements large-scale projects with the old facilities. Such a case occurred with the “Start to Success” project.  At the moment, we are in reconstruction of the sports complex in Cherkassy, ​​where guys from the youth groups "Olympia" and "Spartacus" train. We do have problems with this location because there were no major repairs for more than 60 years. And, of course, given the scale of this work, it is difficult to calculate the deadlines, because we accidentally discover hidden defects that also need to be addressed. We planned to finish repairs in 12 months, but at the moment we are three and a half weeks late. By mid-November we will finish all the work on this project. It is pity that the children temporarily don’t have the opportunity to train and will miss training at the autumn start, but I'm sure that after the repairs, the school can be an excellent basis for new achievements in the Olympic sports. Some of the children are included in the junior national teams and it is possibly that by 2020 they will compete for the honor of our country at the Olympic Games in Tokyo or at subsequent games.

What investment has been provided for the Cherkasy Sports Complex?

In 2015, we served this Sports Complex with a grant from the German organization “Ein Herz für Kinder." The grant’s amount was 160 thousand euros. The purpose was to cover the repair costs of the work. The Klitschko Foundation also allocates its own funds to complement a range of exercise equipment. At the moment, we continue to deal with the purchase of this equipment. We have already equipped halls for martial arts, dance, gymnastics and a gym. The gymnastics hall is now underway.

Are you planning to continue the program "Start to Success" in 2017?

We want to reform the competition with modern trends. We plan to interact with local authorities more closely, because it is an investment in the development of the cities where the sports facilities are. It is important that children and young people have full access to them, and one of the conditions of the competition is a commitment to keep the object in a proper condition without the right of conversion for the next five years. In this regard, we will change the conditions of the competition, where, in addition to the role of the Klitschko Foundation, the role of city governments will be even more detailed. We will maintain the format of a public-private partnership.

What are trends in applications to the program in recent years?

There are many nuances concerning reform in the area of sports, as well as the problem of financing facilities at the state level. Until now, a few questions were in the application. The first is the abolition of the youth sports school system. The Ministry wants to move away from the Soviet or post-Soviet ways of developing of sports. The second is the Transfer of such sport complexes into the service of the public, which includes funding from local and regional budgets, and not from the social insurance fund. If we talk about trends in applications, in 2012 there were about 70 applicants for reconstruction, and now it might be, I think, about five hundred such applications. In Ukraine, there are about two thousand youth sports schools.


Call Your Friends

What other projects does the Foundation implement besides "Start to Success" and the boxing tournament in Berdichev?

"Call Your Friends – Let`s play together" is a program for creating sports facilities in active communities. Another, the fourth project is "Packages of Success." We contribute to the provision of equipment and sports equipment to schools and classes, so that they can carry out physical education with quality exercise equipment. To participate in the contest, a school must fill out an application and make a video on how it conducts its sports lessons and tell us how many children are involved. We give 30 kg of equipment to the winning schools for deployment in group sports from games to athletics. In 2016, twenty schools got playgrounds and more than seventy schools – got the "Package of Success.” Follow the news on our website, www.klitschkofoundation.org, as the autumn phase of the project will start in November.

What are the results of «Call Your Friends – let`s play together"?

This year, we received more than 3,500 applications. Only 20 of them won. As we can see, the demand is quite high. This year we have improved our selection system. Before, schools needed to collect the signatures of people who live in their community to provide support for the initiative, but this year we have created "virtual friends," an analog of a social network that helps demonstrate this support. An interesting fact is that the small towns and villages are more active and united in achieving their goals on such a platform. And this trend is strengthening. This year none of the regional centers won a playground.

Is it true that you have moved away from distributing sports playgrounds by geographic basis?

 In the past, we tried to grant playgrounds for towns in all of the regions on the basis of the rating. After analyzing the situation, we decided that we wanted to equip sites for those who were the most active and gathered the largest number of friends. Each vote requires creating an account profile linked to your phone (we wanted to get rid of cheating votes). And then it was necessary to bring their friends and countrymen to the realization of this idea. For example, in some towns or villages where the number of inhabitants is 1,000-1,200, more than 300 or 400 people voted. Participants did active work and that was important for us. Druzhkovka, one of these settlements, is in close proximity to the ATO conflict zone. They rock! They participated and they were deserving. And we are very pleased that a sport playground has already been installed there.


Youth Playing for Europe

What projects the Foundation is going to implement in the foreseeable future?

This year, in partnership with the German organization, we tested another new project called "Youth Playing for Europe." This is a football tournament among five countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Senegal and Ukraine. The Klitschko Foundation was invited to participate. We like this project because it includes the concept of sport event, and introducing the European cultural and sporting values to Ukrainian youth. This project takes place in Europe for 56 years and has become a tradition. This year, the launch of a pilot project was carried out. We have invited teams from the Kyiv region to test and see how it will work, and in this year May, young players have visited in Osterode (Germany). In 2017, we will announce a competition for the participation of two U-15 and U-17 teams, who will represent Ukraine and fight for the victory in the tournament.

Tell us about the partners of Klitschko Foundation. Is it mostly international companies or national ones?

It varies in different areas. In sports it is easier to attract international sponsors who want to back us with technical assistance. They are ready to give grants to purchase equipment, including medical. Although it is not exactly our field, we were ready to become a partner and help children as their health is the most important thing. We bought equipment and put it into Okhmatdyt. It was a grant for more than 200 thousand euros, which we used in 2013. Partners are willing to provide finance for repairs, but on the condition that such projects will be audited according to international standards. This is crucial because Ukrainian statements are not convincing to foreign donors. We carried out an international audit, which allows us to get a fairly large grants.



Who are the Foundation’s long-term partners?

Together with the Coca-Cola Foundation, we have implemented projects installing sports playgrounds for more than 10 years. This is a good example of how business and charity can cooperate and support social initiatives. For us it is important for small villages and communities to feel that they are important and are heard. It is no secret that the majority of sponsors and donors are concentrated in big cities, not in small district centers and villages. Therefore, such playgrounds or packages of sports equipment make a good impact. As for education and science, we are cooperating with international companies, which have their offices in Ukraine: EPAM, Bayer, GlobalLogic. They are interested in the projects we do. Most importantly, we share a common philosophy and values, which are education, healthy lifestyles and self-improvement. Therefore, we always carefully select companies with which we interact. Talking about representatives of Ukrainian business, we have worked with postal companies who helped us to implement "Package of Success." The company Poparada provides us with frameless furniture for all our projects. Long-term partners of our gala night are such auto companies as Winner and ViDiGroup.


Schwarzenegger`s Jacket, Federer's Racket, and an Audience with the Prince of Monaco

After a long break, the Klitschko Foundation organized a gala night on March 25, 2016. Whose idea was to spend it on the eve of Volodymyr Klitschko’s 40th birthday? And is it true that you succeeded in collecting about $3 million.?

The idea belonged to Volodymyr Klitschko himself, who offered to host the event on his birthday. He said he had never managed to gather all his friends at one place, because they all live in different countries and many of them have never been to Ukraine. So he decided to schedule the gala night on the same date as his birthday. Initially, we had to hold the event on December 5, 2013, but we postponed it due to the tragic events on the Maidan. Several times we changed the date due to Volodymyr’s boxing career or because of the political situation in the country.

What gala night items were in high demand?

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s jacket, in which he starred in Terminator 3. Sylvester Stallone’s painting, which the actor personally gave to Volodymyr Klitschko. The tennis racket and sneakers of Roger Federer. A personal audience with Prince Albert of Monaco. There were other items, courses and exclusive tours that friends and partners of the Klitschko brothers provided. After the gala, Volodymyr made a livestream, in which he thanked those who helped and donated their memorabilia.

Who conducted the auction?

A professional auctioneer conducted it. But since it was the birthday of Volodymyr, the birthday man himself presented an introduction and told some interesting stories associated with the lots and the people who provided them. In addition, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and other stars recorded their personal appeals to those who were in the evening in the hall.

Are there any plans to conduct a gala night in 2017 and will it be connected to any celebration?

Now we are waiting for the fight of Volodymyr Klitschko, which is the starting point for how Volodymyr will be able to spend his free time and to take part in the strategic planning of the foundation. The $3 million that was collected at the auction is aimed at our charter activities and the formation of an endowment - a target contribution to the development of the foundation. Unfortunately, this international practice is too sophisticated for Ukraine, given the fact that banks in our country do not have long-term stability, and we need to make considerable decisions about those deposits. These contributions will enable the Foundation to exist after the Klitschko brothers’ lives, which is their primary. This has been voiced by the brothers and during a public report in 2012 and at various gala nights. Therefore, we are now in the process of creating such a financial instrument, which will effectively work to make the Klitschko Foundation a permanent institution like the Nobel Foundation.

What is the involvement of Vitaly and Volodymyr Klitschko in the Foundation’s work? What is the last time you were struck by our living legends of boxing?

The Klitschko brothers are gentlemen who know how to surprise you. But, at the same time, they are very demanding people who love everything to be done very efficiently and properly. For them, nothing is impossible. And even when I myself doubted about this or that idea of ​​Vitaly and Volodymyr, I heard in response to the same phrase: "Alina, nothing is impossible for you."

In 2014, we conducted a rebranding and for us it was a new starting point in positioning the foundation. The company is developing very fast, and if the organization does not correspond to its values ​​and its pace, it would not be interesting. Therefore, the vision and the values were very important to us. I remember a time when Wladimir was sitting in the room and chose the K-Man figurine (the current logo of the Foundation - ed.) and what color it should be. Then we chose from three different branding options. All of us who were in the room, expressed their views. Volodymyr said: "There is one person I need to be sure to consult." We all sat there and thought, who could be this important man. He took a screenshot, sent it, and in 30 seconds the phone rang. We clearly heard the voice of Hayden Panettiere who said: "Of course, this is the only option!" So Volodymyr Klitschko knows how to listen, but he also knows how to lead. That’s why we’re hoping his next fight will finally take place. For the Foundation it is very important to understand the trajectory of the careers of our founders.

It seems, after taking the position of the mayor, Vitaly Klitschko deliberately distanced himself a bit from the Foundation’s projects.

It's not quite true. Vitaly Volodymyrovych supports our projects and is present at the Foundation’s events. He is always interested about participants of our projects and remains an example, a role model and idol to millions. But at the moment, Wladimir Klitschko is more engaged in the foundation’s projects. He is a global strategist and is responsible for the positioning of the Klitschko family. Since 2014, we removed the word "brothers" from the title of our organization, so the Foundation becomes a single unit and embodies the values of all the Klitschko family members. I think that soon we will bring in the two new younger Klitschko brothers and two Klitschko sisters to our projects - the legacy of fighting for dreams and for good continues!

Original — http://box.sport.ua/news/321742