Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) and Kézdivásárhely (Târgu Secuiesc) will be put back onto the ice-hockey map of Romania and the Carpathian Basin, as a new ice rink is coming to Sepsiszentgyörgy, and a new ice hockey team, called 3SIC, will be created too. The announcement was made by Minister of Youth and Sports Károly Eduárd Novák, Minister of Environment and President of the Men’s Sana Foundation Barna Tánczos and leaders of the two towns and Kovászna (Covasna) County at a press conference in Sepsi Arena last Friday.
After Csíkszereda Sportklub won the Erste Liga last week, Szekler ice hockey fans received more good news. An adult ice hockey team is going to be created in Háromszék, and a new indoor ice rink is going to be built in Sepsiszentgyörgy. According to the agreement made between the foundation led by Barna Tánczos and the municipality of Sepsiszentgyörgy, a part of the territory owned by the foundation close to Sepsi Arena will be bought by the town, where the National Investment Fund (CNI) will build the indoor ice rink. The current ice rink, which is covered by a tent, will remain, and the foundation is going to build a sports hotel next to it.
The name of the new adult ice hockey team will be 3SIC; it will be founded and maintained jointly by Kovászna County and the municipalities of Kézdivásárhely and Sepsiszentgyörgy.
Tánczos also talked about the “Introduction to Sports” program, calling it one of the most successful sports-related programs for kids; he said that the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ) will suggest spreading it throughout the entire country.
Sepsiszentgyörgy Mayor Árpád Antal pointed out that the Ministry of Culture ordered archaeological explorations of the territory where the ice rink is to be built; these will last a couple of months, after which construction can start. He added that the new adult ice hockey team is the result of 13 years of work by Huba Kernászt and Ervin Miklós, the leaders of the Királypingvinek Jégkorong Klub (King Penguins Ice Hockey Club) who have taught 3,000 Sepsiszentgyörgy children to skate over the years, several dozens of whom now play ice hockey at the club.
“Next weekend, Sepsiszentgyörgy will host the next round of the U18 ice hockey championship, and our U18 players will form the core of the adult team,” Huba Kernászt said.
Both in Kézdivásárhely and Sepsiszentgyörgy, sports have a priority, and several sports facilities and teams operate in these towns, said Károly Eduárd Novák. But looking at the active lifestyle and the popularity of group sports in the whole country, the minister of youth and sports is not so satisfied. He said that the system has fallen apart and needs to be completely rethought, so they are working on a new sports strategy, which will determine the next 15–20 years.
According to Novák, Romania is among the last in Europe in the fields of sports and regular physical activities. “Not only are Olympic medals important but also how many children practice any kind of sports or what percentage of the population does regular physical activities. And we are doing pretty badly in these fields.
Only 2–5 percent of the population in the country does physical activities regularly.”
– said the minister, adding that the country is not doing well in the field of healthy eating either and there are lots of overweight people countrywide. He believes that with a new sports strategy and programs, these areas can be improved. Novák brought up the example of Hungary, where the proportion of the population doing regular physical activities increased from 6 to 30 percent within a couple of years.
Title image is an illustration. (Photo: Vince Haáz/szekelyhon.ro)