Natalya Lupu, coach of the Olympic Dreams project: "Athletics is my life, and I became a coach so that my students could feel what I feel"

Three-time European champion, silver medalist of the world and European championships, two-time bronze medalist of the European championships, and five-time finalist of the world championships. This impressive list is only a part of the achievements of Natalya Lupu, an incredibly talented athlete, who is now part of the flagship project of the international sports camp Olympic Dreams from "The Future for Children" Charity Fund.

Natalya started athletics at the age of 8. And it completely changed her life.

"I came from a very poor family. When I started to do athletics professionally at the age of 12, I had neither sneakers nor a uniform," recalls Natalya. - I ran in my old shoes and my older brother's t-shirts. But thanks to hard work, I was able to earn a living and help my family."

A graduate of the Olympic College named after Ivan Piddubny (2000), Natalya quickly achieved success on the treadmill.

"When I entered the stadium, inhaled this air and enjoyed it, enjoyed the smell of the track - it's something incredible, but you can feel it when you live it!"

Natalya recently returned to her alma mater, becoming a trainer where she studied. And her words now sound like a mantra for her pupils: "The harder it is in training, the easier it is in competitions. No one can win against me. So the faster I run, the more people will come to the stadiums to watch me. And it's a thrill."
Natalya Lupu currently trains 18 athletes from different parts of Ukraine. All children come from large families, and athletics is an opportunity to succeed in life.

But on February 24, 2022, everything changed dramatically.

"The war made adjustments to our lives. We already thought that this was all, the end. That day we were in Kyiv at the college. The main question was how to leave Kyiv and get to my parents alive with all the students. It was scary, but sportsmanship helped us not to panic.

We started training at the stadium in the village of Oleksandrivka to distract the children. Still, the alarms and constant explosions scared the children very much, and we hid in the basements almost all the time."

Natalya is currently in Cyprus with her wards, where, thanks to the partners and patrons of the Olympic Dreams international sports camp project (the flagship project of "The Future for Children" Charitable Foundation), safe conditions for successful training have been created.

"Athletics is my life," says Natalya Lupu, "and I became a coach so that my students could feel what I feel."
We will remind you that the Olympic Dreams international sports camp project was launched in the summer of 2022 with the support of the NOC of the Kyiv region, the Embassy of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic and the personal initiative of Anatoly Boyko, a patron and co-founder of the NGO " IT Development Education". The main goal of the project is to support the country's Olympic reserve and provide young athletes from the affected regions of Ukraine with a safe training process in friendly neighbouring countries.

The current camp is already the third within the project and the second in Cyprus. Thanks to the partnership, 115 Ukrainian athletes are training on the hospitable island.

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