NIZHNY NOVGOROD, September 18 (Itar-Tass) — A youth team from Kazan on Sunday delivered the main symbol of the 2013 Universiade - the flag of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) to the capital of the Volga region, mega-city Nizhny Novgorod. The relay over cities throughout the country with the participation of athletes, artists, leaders of student organisations is conducted within preparations for the XXVII World Summer Universiade 2013 that will be held in Kazan.
A special train with delegates from Tatarstan carrying about 90 was met by students of Nizhny Novgorod with songs, dances and gifts – the traditional Khokhloma souvenir of Nizhny Novgorod.
The guests were welcomed by students of the main university of the city - Nizhny Novgorod State University named after N. I. Lobachevsky (NNGU) having the status of a national research university. In addition to serious sciences, education here is conducted in 18 sports, one of the youngest faculties of physical education and sports trains champions, as well as coaches and managers in the field of sports. Among its graduates are honoured masters of sports, Olympic champions, masters of sports of international class.
A cooperation agreement between the government of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the leadership of the University and the Directorate of the Universiade 2013 was signed at the university on Sunday. Under it, the Nizhny Novgorod side shall prepare the athletes and volunteers for the Student Games. The regional sports ministry has promised to send to the competitions in the capital of Tatarstan more participants than it was in Beijing where six sportsmen from Nizhny Novgorod participated.
The Universiade Ambassador from the Nizhny Novgorod region was appointed double Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Yelena Posevina. According to her, such large-scale actions as the flag relay race over student cities in Russia has attracted the attention of young people to a healthy lifestyle and unites young people from different regions. “The Universiade for athletes is a dress rehearsal, the start of the Olympics, this is a tremendous opportunity to test themselves at the magnificent sports venues and facilities that have been built in Kazan,” she said.
Representative of the Universiade Directorate Larisa Sulima noted that the Kazan Universiade will have a record number of sports - 27, including the Tatar wrestling on belts. “Officially, 13 kinds of sport are permitted, but a country participant has the right to add a few more, and also its national sport. We have tried to maximally approximate the choice of these sports to the Olympic - in particular, we will have boxing, rowing...,” she said.
In honour of the future of sports victories a flower bed of tulips was laid at the NNGU campus. This spring flower is a symbol of the World Student Games-2013. A concert - a kind of musical presentation of the upcoming sport event will be given under the sign of the Universiade in the city centre in the evening.
In the coming days, the cities of Cheboksary, Yoshkar-Ola, Kirov will be meeting the flag and the envoys of the Universiade. After the Volga region the flag relay will travel to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg.
The Universiade in Kazan will be “a dress rehearsal for the 2014 Olympic Games,” President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov said earlier. Up to 20,000 volunteers will be trained for the University Games, after which they will be engaged for the Olympic Games in Sochi. Minnikhanov believes that the success of the Universiade will depend not only on the sport facilities but also on city transport. “We should create a proper transport system. This will require mobilisation of all forces and strict compliance with quarterly and monthly schedules,” he noted.
Kazan, which has for the first time ever been chosen to host World University Games in 2013, will host them in a worthy manner, the city’s mayor Ilsur Metshin said earlier. “The Games budget exceeds 300 billion roubles,” he noted, adding that 39 billion roubles will be spent on completing the first line of Kazan's subway with six underground stations. Besides, 62 billion roubles will be spent on the construction of 130 kilometres of the city roads with 17 junctions, and 11 billion roubles on the construction of the Games-2013 village for 10,000 sportsmen. “All the facilities for the XXVII World University Games will be built in due time and in compliance with international sports standards,” the mayor said.
Kazan, which is more than 1,000 years old, remains a young city, the mayor stressed. A total of 180,000 students from 15 countries of the world study at its 30 higher educational establishments. The city is developing dynamically, and the amount of investments has grown almost fivefold over the recent years.
Over the past three years, the republic has built 230 sport facilities. Twenty-two new gymnasiums have opened in Kazan, as part of preparations for the World University Games.
The 2013 Games will use a mixture of 64 newly built venues and existing facilities, 36 of them will be constructed specially for the 2013 Summer Universiade.
Sporting venues constructed on the basis of Kazan’s higher education establishments will serve as background for development of university sports. In total, 11 venues will be handed over to universities and institutes of Kazan. Due to a dynamic construction progress of Kazan’s sports infrastructure, the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism will be founded in the capital of Tatarstan. The freehold of 7 largest sporting venues and part of the Universiade Village facilities will be transferred to the academy.
The mission of the Kazan Universiade is to gather young athletes from all over the world in the city of unique multiethnic heritage; to continue Russian sport traditions, become a launch pad for future generations of athletes; to make the life of Kazan citizens more interesting and convenient; to give the children a possibility to do any kind of sport they like, to lead a healthy way of life; to make a significant contribution to the creation of Russia’s positive image in the world.