Lily Prots is the female athlete, world champion in powerlifting, social activist and author of the “Lily’s Prots School health”
Biography: she is born in Ternopil. She graduated from the Ternopil Pedagogical University. She worked in the sports school. She was engaged checkers before enthusiasm for weightlifting. In 1994 she became a master of sports of powerlifting and in 2000 – master of sports of international class in Ukraine. She is also three-time world champion in powerlifting. Her personal record in the bench press is 110 kg and in the squats – 170 kilograms. She has set up 33 records in Ukraine and has 60 medals. In 2007 she has founded sports club “Sport Class” and she was its president and coach.Lily is proponent of mass physical culture “Ruhanky” in Ternopil. She has been working on the implementation of the project “Lily’s Ptots School health”.
UWG: What does a “strong woman” mean for you?
A woman who is a monolith.
UWG: You are the world champion in bench pressing. According to the majority: the woman and lifting are incompatibles. It was one of the main motives of restriction of the admission of women to fighting specialties when the Ukrainian girls were going up the line in 2014. What can you say on this subject?
When I have begun to go in for powerlifting in 1994, I also said that it is not women’s sport. But over time, many sports which traditionally were considered “not for women” became female. Let’s remember fight, boxing, soccer… In general, when the question is war or military events, with emergency situations in country life, it should not be division into male and female specialties. Most of women are steadier morally and physically prepared today.
UWG: Have you ever met with gender discrimination in sports or other professional activities?
It is does not exist in sport. There are sports where both women and men act. Perhaps, in some countries traditional restrictions also are, and it is not acceptable to the woman to go to act in those sports where there are competitions also among women in other countries.
Nowadays In professional activity I meet not gender discrimination, but age and skills more. It is obviously that you will not be able to hold certain position because the age is not appropriate for the employer or there are claims to experience: professional distinctiveness, number of years and so on.
UWG: There is talk that each generation of children grows sicker and weaker than previous. What do you think what reasons are and how it is possible to break this tendency?
Yes, there is a such tendency. First of all, state of environment and health of parents infect, then lifestyle of family and environment where the child grows (food, society, habits). There are two ways people can to break the state of affairs: 1) to prep seniors, youth and young families for paternity and to explain all possible risks and consequences of health-detrimental behavior which will affect the child’s birth. 2) To teach those who already have children to keep the health and health of the family, to explain all risks and consequences also and to encourage them to lead a good life.
UWG:How did the idea of the project “Lily’s Prots School Health ” appear?
I thought about the project for a long time. Very often I have talked to my friends that it is necessary to take care of your health and the health of their family. But people do not have “patience” they are not motivated. Hypothetical consequences are not afraid. Someone begins to move in the right direction only when there is “a disaster.” So I realized that I should not change stages or lines, but radically and on all fronts. By this understanding I decided to create a School, which aims to engage children from birth to people of all ages. Small accustom to a healthy lifestyle from childhood, and older people we save and support that we have.
UWG: Have turned to you for advice and help demobilized boys, and maybe girls from ATO? What can you advise for rehabilitation?
They have not. But in such cases, of course, first of all it is necessary to take counseling or rehabilitation a psychologist or therapist. And studies suggest swimming, sports, yoga.
UWG : You think you are realized woman?
It’s the eternal question. Of course not. Achieved certain heights in the sport. Now I want to realize myself as a social entrepreneur. Another dream is a family-type orphanage.
UWG: Do you have an example of inheritance for women, model, moral authority?
When I was a child, it was Steffi Graf. Now for me it is Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Mother Teresa. And if you take authority not only among women, in general I captured the life of Nelson Mandela. Just read his memoirs.
UWG: What is your perfect day?
My perfect day is every day. Because I work for myself and make plans by myself. So I have time for business and for rest.
UWG: What’s your dream, goal, cherished desire?
I have a lot of dreams. I believe in the future I will realize myself more as a politician.
Photo from personal archive of Lily Prots.
Interview for UWG: Olena Biletska (initiator), Radmila Korzh (press secretary, editor)