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2024. 02. 29 -

FTMC Winter Cross: three higher education institutions come together for the first time

Dr. Renata Butkutė. Photo: Domas Jokubauskis / FTMC
On 23 February, FTMC Winter Cross took place in Aukštagiris, Vilnius. This is the first time that employees of three Lithuanian higher education institutions - the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC), Vilnius University (VU) and Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) - have come together for such a sports event.
 
The participants gathered at the VILNIUS TECH Sports and Arts Center took on a small challenge, as the running route consisted of forest paths, which were somewhere snowy and slippery. However, everyone successfully completed the chosen distance of 1, 3, 6 or 9 km.
 
71 people attended the event: 43 - FTMC, 20 - VU, 8 - VILNIUS TECH employees.
 
 
(Photo: Domas Jokubauskis / FTMC)
 
"The idea of the Winter Cross came about to promote a healthy lifestyle. Academia often tends to work in its "cells", but here is an opportunity to see and support each other, to make new contacts, to be outdoors, to socialise. Especially since we, three large organisations based in Saulėtekis area, are neighbours", says Šarūnas Mačiulis, one of the organisers of the event, a psychologist at the FTMC and a development partner of the organisation. He emphasises the psychological benefits of sport:
 
"Science unequivocally says that psychological health goes hand in hand with physical activity. For example, FTMC has Walking and Running clubs, which are already producing good results - colleagues are starting to exercise regularly, losing weight, lowering cholesterol, increasing psychological well-being and resilience to stress and other psychological challenges, socialising, and motivating each other to engage in regular physical activity. We want our people to feel better and see more smiles. And events like the Winter Cross make us all even more motivated. So we will strive to have more of them."
 
 
(Dr. Saulius Tumėnas. Photo: Domas Jokubauskis / FTMC)
 
"It's a chance to get together with colleagues in a completely informal environment, wearing sports clothes, warming up, sweating... And in nature," adds Dr. Saulius Tumėnas, FTMC Acting Deputy Director for Applied Science and Innovations. He is an active sportsman himself and participates in various running competitions: "For me, running is a dynamic meditation. I remember for the first six months, I used to run to solve problems, and then I used to run just to observe my surroundings, to admire the nature and the sounds around. Running is ideal for this."
 
Ramunė Žilinskienė, Director of the VU Health and Sport Centre, is pleased that FTMC Winter Cross is a good start for closer cooperation between the three scientific institutions located in Saulėtekis, Vilnius:
 
"We regularly organise joint events with VILNIUS TECH for both students and staff, but we have not had any with FTMC so far. We are implementing various ideas for a healthier Saulėtekis, so why not do it for all three institutions? We can move towards this, because there has been too little conversation on health promotion. And now the connections are there, we can do a lot together."
 
 
(Photo: Domas Jokubauskis / FTMC)
 
Raminta Kuktaitė, Director of VILNIUS TECH Sports and Art Center, also sees the benefits of cooperation and sport: 'It is very good that this event is dedicated to the Saulėtekis community. The sense of community is very important, and in the future we would like to see not only the staff but also the students getting involved in these activities.
 
Sport is first and foremost about health. That's why our VILNIIUS TECH Sports and Arts Center aims to attract students and staff to get them moving and make the whole University healthier."
 
 
(Yaraslau Padrez and Dr. Lena Golubewa. Photo: FTMC)
 
During the event, the staff of higher education institutions not only participated in sports, but also had the opportunity to ask questions to the experienced running coach Jūratė Armonienė, and S-Sports representatives provided useful information about running shoes.
 
We plan to continue this successful tradition - FTMC, VU and VILNIUS TECH colleagues are already invited to prepare for the FTMC Spring Cross, about which we will inform you in the future.
 
FTMC information
 
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