SOCHI, March 30 (Itar-Tass) – Sochi’s Small Ice Arena will be used as a sport centre for children after the end of the Winter Olympic Games in this Black Sea resort city, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, March 30.
He met with members of the figure skating and ice hockey federations in Sochi.
“I suggest that after the end of the Olympic Games the Small Ice Arena be converted into an all-Russia children’s sport and educational centre,” the president said.
The centre will offer training in skiing, biathlon, downhill skiing, and snowboarding. “It should be a federal facility financed from the federal budget,” Putin added.
He stressed that the centre would operate 365 days a year “so that children could life and study there.” “Where they will be accommodated and how many of them should there be are separate issues to address,” he said.
The president believes that this should be a centre working for children’s and youth sport, “not for high-performance sport but for mass children’s sport.”
“But of course, if teams train there, boys and girls will get closer to top-class athletes and this will encourage them to achieve higher results. But what is more important is that children from across the country will be able to stay here from 24 days to a month and play sports rather than hang out in the streets. They will play sport and study at the same time,” Putin said.
“I think this solution would be perfectly consistent with the spirit and essence of the Olympic movement and can become a serious and noticeable contribution to the development of mass children’s and youth sport,” he said.