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Sport. What Will Be Done?

September 06, 20:43 UTC+3
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Key conclusions

Far Eastern regions can play a big role in Russia’s preparations to the largest global sports events planned in the Asian-Pacific Region

“Holding three Olympic Games in the Asian-Pacific Region means, first of all, opportunities for the Far Eastern regions, and secondly, it is a challenge. It is challenging because we need to create a base to prepare the national team <…> Opportunities are emerging to attract federal co-financing, to give reasons for the fact that it is necessary to invest in the development of sports infrastructure,” said Anton Zaitsev, Аcting Deputy Prime Minister of the Sakhalin Region.

“Speaking about preparations to the Olympic Games in Korea, all venues have already been prepared <…> A number of big sports facilities that completely meet the requirements of the federation will be participating in the preparations, such as Platinum Arena, Yerofei in Khabarovsk, the Admiral palace in Vladivostok,” said Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation. 

“The 'Children of Asia' Games in winter sports will be held for the first time in the Sakhalin Region in 2019, and that means more than 20 participating countries,” Anton Zaitsev said.

Sports is one of top priorities for development of Far East Federal District

“An upward trend is in place. If you ask me if we are satisfied or not, I would say rather not, probably <…> But there is positive dynamics in the system of preparing a sports reserve even compared with the last two years, the number of those going in at all stages of athletic performance has increased by 6% in fact. Also, the number of organizations involved in athletic training has risen by 6.5% compared with 2014, those are 276 organizations,” Pavel Kolobkov said.

“Currently, we are conducting meetings, seminars with all regions, focused on the shift of youth sports schools from the standards of semi-pro training to the standards of sports reserve training,” Pavel Kolobkov added.

“I consider sport to be one of the best instruments to strengthen friendship between nations,” said Tagir Khaibulaev, Russian Judo Player, Olympic Champion 2012.

Challenges

Deficient number of sports facilities, training bases

“If there are more facilities, it will trigger the development of young swimmers that are trained in the Far East <…> Especially since it is very difficult for them to go and finance trips to competitions,” said Yulia Yefimova, Three-time Olympic Medalist, Five-time World Swimming Champion.

“The biggest challenge that we have relates to stables, to hurdle racing, that is we currently have not a single state stable in the Far Eastern District. This is really a problem,” said Aleksandr Lesun, Russian Pentathlete, Olympic Champion 2016.

“If there was such a facility, comprising five sports, probably not on one base but at least nearby, I think that not even 50-60% of summer sports, but more of them would move here,” Aleksandr Lesun said.

“What is needed here is sports venues, infrastructure <…> Many competitions are planned in the region, and honestly speaking we don’t have our own base for training,” Tagir Khaibulaev said.

Solutions

Recognition of sports development in regions’ ratings

“There is a private rating that assesses sporting achievements of the regions. It is been established by one polytechnic agency in St. Petersburg, the governors are competing as to who has the best sports team,” said Alexey Bobrovsky, Head of the Economic Programme, Russia 24 TV Channel.

“In the Russian Far East there is a sufficient amount of regional tournaments, if we simply provide informational support to them and arrange for holding all-Russia tournaments registered in the Far East to be an item for assessing the work of each of regional governments we will receive a great deal of admiration,” said Aleksandr Karelin, Three-Time Olympic Champion in Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Development of youth and mass sports

“I think that the government and regional authorities should be looking at improvement of youth sports <…> As the experience of universiades shows, this is the best and closest reserve for national teams,” Aleksandr Karelin said.

“Cheap sports grounds at the place of residence <…> I think that it will be a priority for us, in our work in the coming years <…> Further programs will be aimed at street sports for people to practice where they live,” Pavel Kolobkov said.

Development of sports technologies

“I think that Russia needs to develop the sport industry because it will not only oblige to import technology and goods from abroad saving lots of money, but also will support the promotion of the popularity of sport giving a chance to hundreds of thousands of children to start sports, having access to materials produced in Russia,” said Marius Vizer, President, International Judo Federation (IJF).

Popularization of sports

“We already have an experience of even giving names to teams that use as a brand the names of our great sportsmen, both modern and of the past. This shows that the mechanism works well,” Alexey Bobrovsky said.  

“There are certain consistent patterns that should be complied with to attract sponsors <…> There should be heroes, and events, particularly interesting for business,” said Vasily Titov, First Deputy President, VTB Bank.

 Attracting business to sports development

“It would be wrong to expect the government and local authorities to solve all issues related to sports development <…> Further on, the sports federations themselves and businessmen should solve them,” Vasily Titov said.

Development of sports medicine in the region

“I think the creation of a lab under the aegis of the Far Eastern Federal University is a very interesting topic for us,” Valery Karpenko said.

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