In his address delivered at the opening ceremony of the Gödöllő town and regional swimming complex owned by the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Prime Minister highlighted that before 2010 Hungarian sports were on the brink of annihilation. There were such conditions regarding equally the infrastructure, the training of experts and funding that there was genuine concern that “one of the important pillars of our national pride,” Hungarian sports might evaporate altogether.
He recalled that since 2010 Hungary had spent HUF 2,100 billion on sports subsidies, and the number of certified athletes had risen to 560,000.
He said the swimming complex now inaugurated is not only a source of pride for the town of Gödöllő, but equally for the entire country. It is important when new facilities are built that they should be built to standards that would hold their own in any country of Europe, but are at the same time unique, he stated.
He took the view that this swimming complex is a Hungarian building, “we erected not just a mere cube,” also from the outside one can immediately see that it perfectly fits into that which is called the body of Hungarian architectural traditions.
The Prime Minister recalled that they had an ambitious development plan regarding swimming pools which was developed by the swimming federation and was approved by the government. However, the pandemic brought this plan to a temporary halt. The goal is for every school child to be able to swim, and the most talented ones also competitively, he pointed out.
He said since 2010, 35 swimming pools have been built, another 43 are under construction, and ten have been refurbished, to a total combined value of HUF 180 billion. This is important because sport has a beneficial effect on children, it is a good educational tool, he said.
Mr Orbán also said they are keeping their earlier promises, they are also building other facilities, and Gödöllő has been a beneficiary of developments connected not only to sports: other projects have been implemented as well. “This is what it’s like when the government parties oppress a town,” he added.
Regarding the model change at the university, he said the university of agriculture has always been a source of pride for Hungary, but we are now entering a new world, everything has changed, and this in turn calls for changes. They will spend HUF 2,700 billion on the development of universities, of which more than HUF 200 billion will be allocated to the university of agriculture, he said.
Sándor Csányi, President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said the government should be thanked for the fact that a project which fills a long-standing gap has finally been completed in the region. In addition to modern training, it is important for the university to have access to quality sports facilities that also serve the grassroot sports needs of the local population, he pointed out.
He said they are giving every support for the functioning of the university.
Rector of the university Csaba Gyuricza said in the region this has been a long-awaited event. Appropriate funding, infrastructure developments and connecting sports and cultural life to education are essential for creating the foundations for quality agricultural training, he listed. He added that they want to become a leading agricultural university in the region, and the inauguration of this modern swimming complex is a major step towards achieving that goal.
Member of Parliament for the region László Vécsey (Fidesz) highlighted that the inhabitants of Gödöllő and its region are important for the government: they heard their needs, and this is why this inauguration ceremony can be held now, as a result of which the possibility of a healthy life has become available to many tens of thousands of people. The opening of the swimming complex is an enormous step forward, but other developments are also being launched in the region, he added.