Mass sports and tourism is developing rapidly in the Region. The scope of sports equipment and facilities has been improved; for example, in 1995 there were only 2 thousand sports facilities in the Region, while in 2005 their amount doubles. Among them there are 700 gym-halls, 35 stadiums, 24 swimming pools, and 2 in-door skating rinks.
57 kinds of sports activities have been given much attention to in the Region.
In November 2000 a new winter sports (ice hockey, figure skating) school for children was opened in Vitebsk; in January 2001 sports olympic academy was opened in Novopolotsk. There are 58 sports schools for children and youth (30 of them are specialized schools), 2 sports olympic academies in the Region, and 1 regional school for excellence in sports. More than 24.6 thousand kids do sports at these schools under the guidance of 972 coaches-teachers, 47 of which are “Honoured Coaches of the Republic of Belarus”.
In the history of the Olympic Games 78 sportsmen from the Region took part in the Games and won 20 Olympic medals in total, among them 6 Gold medals, 7 Silver and 7 Bronze medals. The most successful Games for the sportsmen of the Region were the last Summer Games in Athens, in 2004 where they won 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medals; the points they gained put the Region into the second place among all regions of the Republic of Belarus.
Much attention is being paid to the promotion of healthy life-style. Last year there were 109 regional sports events; in 2005, more than 70 thousand people did sports for pleasure.