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Putin invites young athletes to attend F1 race

October 11, 2014, 19:09 UTC+3 SOCHI
The invitation took place when Putin was talking to participants of the fourth shift of the all-season center created on the basis of two Olympic facilities
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SOCHI, October 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday invited young athletes from the All-Russian Children’s Sports and Health Center to attend Sunday’s F1 GP race in the southern Russian resort of Sochi.

The invitation took place when Putin was talking to participants of the fourth shift of the all-season center created on the basis of two Olympic facilities - a small ice arena and a training arena when they were having afternoon tea. He asked them whether they liked it in the facility, and they answered in the affirmative.

Kursk regional Olympic Reserve specialized children’s and youth sports school hockey team coach Alexey Skiba told Putin that his trainees who visited the center would like to come to it once again.

“3,500 children are scheduled to go through this school annually. Overall, 4.5 million people study in children’s sports schools; we also have other all-season children’s centers,” Putin said.

“We wanted a specialized children’s center for sports to be built here, at Olympic facilities. The conditions are perfect here. It is a good element of Olympic heritage,” he said.

Before saying goodbye to the Russian president, children invited him to attend the final hockey tournament at the end of their shift. “I will try to,” Putin said. “And I am inviting you to attend Formula 1. Will it be interesting for you? See you then.”

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and the center’s director Vladimir Zhuravlyov accompanied Putin during his visit to the hotel compound where children are accommodated.

The Russian leader inspected possible variants of future accommodation for the All-Russian Children’s Sports and Health Center’s trainees. Olympic facilities which are the most convenient for accommodation of children, organization of their rest, training and educational process will be defined after the visit.

Mutko said there are plans to use hotel compounds built for the February 2014 Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi.

The All-Russian Children’s Sports and Health Center was built in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2013 on the initiative of the Russian head of state. On July 1, 2014, it received the first groups of young athletes. Talented schoolchildren aged 10-16 who have a chance of entering the country’s Olympic Reserve in winter sports receive sports and educational training at the facility.

The center operates on the basis of the Shaiba small ice arena and a training ice arena for hockey. Sports and training events for young athletes are alternated with general education programs, cultural and recreation events and additional education programs.

The facility functions all year round. Throughout 2014, it will receive six shifts having 200 people each. Starting from next year, the number of young athletes in shifts will grow to 350. The best young athletes from all Russian regions, participants and winners of all-Russian sports competitions and members of national sports teams have the chance to undergo training at the center.

The F1 Russian Grand Prix is held at the racing track located near the Olympic Village in the coastal area of Sochi. The contract to include Russia in the calendar of F1 racing for the 2014-2020 period was signed in 2010 in Sochi by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

Although cargo planes with F1 teams’ racing gear and equipment began landing in Sochi on Monday after the previous Formula One GP in Japan’s Suzuka, held on October 3-5, and all racers arrived by Wednesday, the Russian coastal city was relatively quiet until Friday.

The new track in Russia’s Sochi is the third longest in distance this year after Belgium’s Spa GP and Britain’s Silverstone GP and was first tested by F1 racers on Friday morning during the practice session, which kicked off at 10:00 a.m. local time (6:00 GMT).

ussia’s Sochi is the third longest in distance this year after Belgium’s Spa GP and Britain’s Silverstone GP and was first tested by F1 racers on Friday morning during the practice session, which kicked off at 10:00 a.m. local time (6:00 GMT).

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