Klevakina credits athletics for qualities leading to personal and professional success | 29.05.2010
Klevakina of Ukraine receives the European Athletics
Women's Leadership Awards.
The tale of Ukraine's Tetyana Klevakina is a perfect example of how a strong support system is invariably at the heart of a successful sports career.
"I know well how difficult it is for woman to strike a balance between her family and career. It was not easy for me either. My late husband was my source of inspiration and now I am extremely lucky to have a strong support system in form of my two daughters, grand children and all the athletes from Donetsk region. They keep me going," said Klevakina.
"My family understands my job and everyone tries to help me by giving advice or helping with work. A lot of new ideas for my work come from our conversations and at times, heated discussions," she added.
The 60-year-old has been instrumental in helping the sport of athletics grow in the Donetsk region through a number of bold and innovative ideas and a lifetime of commitment.
The region has been home to a number of athletics stars both past and present including the legendary pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, Iryna Lischynska, Natalia Tobias and Denys Yurchenko among others and today also houses an IAAF Accredited training centre.
|Tatyana Klevakina the national winner of
of the European Athletics Women's Leadership
Awards from Ukraine.
"I didn't face any discrimination in Ukrainian athletics. Leaders at the Ukrainian athletics federation and the sports establishment in the Donetsk region have always been supportive of all my radical ideas and requests."
Klevakina currently serves as the leader of the Donetsk regional athletics federation and is also a member of the FLAU Executive Committee.
After coaching athletes for over 20 years, Klevakina is currently the head coach of athletics of the Donetsk Region. In this role, she initiated the reconstruction of the main athletics complexes in the region.
Additionally, in liaison with administrations of different cities of the region, she has helped in significantly increasing the funding of children's and youth athletics organisations in the region.
Klevakina believes that athletics helped her instil a number of qualities that have proved vital in her career, both personally and professionally.
"My credo is to work a lot, hard, seriously and fairly. Besides, athletics allows you to become independent and strong as a person. It is subsidiary means for self-actualisation and self-affirmation. Sport not only helps you to reveal yourself but also brings out all the best qualities of your character."
Klevakina stressed that athletics helped her find a perfect balance between family and career.
"Balance is the key word especially for women. You have to identify areas where you can compromise in your personal and professional life. I am glad that I managed to find them successfully and over the years I have helped many women to find these compromises by my own example," she added.
Although women in athletics have taken rapid strides over the last couple of decades, but Klevakina believes there is plenty of room for improvement. "We need more promotion for athletics and woman in sport particularly in TV, newspapers, magazines etc," Klevakina said.
"I think we have to be persistent and bolder in getting more women at the executive positions in sports organisations. We need to support woman in their endeavour to work in athletics. A woman's viewpoint is a motherly one and is holistic, I believe it is one of the most important points for the future of athletics."