The Role of the State in Sportive Russia

We all understand well, we all want Russia to have big, bright sports victories. Such events are necessary to maintain spiritual force and patriotic feelings of our citizens, to strengthen the prestige of the country abroad and, what is the main thing, it is necessary to promote the values of the active, healthy way of life, to make sports the choice for the millions of our citizens, first of all, of course, for young people.

Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation

That is why now with the start of a new Olympic cycle we have to clearly define the priorities and the logics of our actions. But before all, we have to thoroughly analyze the results of the Olympic and Paralympic Games held last summer. The London results have to become for us a sort of guidance to actions; we have to look back and analyze again the performance of our sportsmen, the preparations for it and their influence on the results.

We all know that sports victories are gained in the course of long and hard work. The competitions themselves and their results show the efficiency and quality of this work. The Games of 2012 are not exception. We saw the work of the federations and the regions, where the preparations were excellent, where they were not so good and where they were evidently unsatisfactory.

The competition in the world sports is becoming harder with every passing year. In fact, today, there compete not only sportsmen but coaching schools as well. In the battle for the podium there compete all those who prepare sportsmen: managerial personnel, pedagogues, scientists and doctors. And the leader is he, who managed to use the whole arsenal of the modern means and capacities, who correctly ensured every stage on the way to victory.

According to the plans of sports federations and the Ministry of Sports out of 37 Olympic sports Russian sportsmen were able to win gold medals in twenty of them, but in London these highest expectations didn't come true. And now it is of paramount importance to undertake measures, which will help our sportsmen to achieve success and proudly represent Russia on the world sports arenas.

One of the main goals is the training of sports reserves. This question is closely connected with general physical training of children, teenagers and youth. We have done something here during the recent years: there grows the number of stadiums, swimming pools, sports grounds and sections. We have to build an integral system, which, first of all, would provide for the development of sports skills in children, would made it possible from the early childhood to detect among them talented and prospective sportsmen starting with the pre-school institutions.

Students' sports should be also brought to a qualitatively different level.

In Russia today there are 52 schools of Olympic reserves, 984 specialized sports schools of the Olympic reserve and 3,831 sports schools for children and youth. In total they enroll more than 3,100,000 children but this number could have been much bigger. I would stress that educational institutions engaged in the Olympic reserves raining should have one owner to a full extent responsible for their material supply and quality of work. That is why it is necessary to complete the transition of the specialized schools under the auspices of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation. Here the stress should be made on sports, on the training of those people, who will be able to achieve outstanding results in future. Here also should be transferred the schools of the Olympic reserves. It is also necessary to think about the format of the Ministry's participation in the work of the sports schools for children and youth.

Another question is the situation and equipment of sports facilities which are engaged in sportsmen's training. A lot has been done recently with new modern facilities commissioned. I saw this with my own eyes, took part in their projecting, monitored their construction. It is true that the Ministry of Sports has done a good work here. But we should admit that such sports facilities are still not very many and many athletes still have to train abroad.

The preparations of the Paralympic athletes for the Games also go in difficult conditions. Swimmers and athletes, who will play 316 sets of medals out of 503 had to look for the time for their training. It was not easy for them, because all sports facilities were occupied by the main national teams.

Our goal is to build by 2015 enough number of training centers including in the midlands and equip the centers with the most modern equipment and gear.

In the line-up of the teams and among head coaches of the national teams we increasingly see foreigners. Invited foreign specialists is a good and useful practice, which is used, frankly speaking, all over the world. It is bad when the focus is made on the solution of the local problem: to win here and now, when there are no technologies for the transfer of foreign experience to Russian specialists. In some countries, for example, the contract contains a special term, which obliges an invited foreign coach to work together with local specialists and prepare both sportsmen and coaches. It think it is a correct and absolutely reasonable systemic approach. It is necessary for us to change over to this where we lack such a system. Somewhere we use it but far from being everywhere.

One more topic is the development of sports science. In this sphere we have solved only urgent questions of medical and biological assurance of sportsmen. Thanks God, of course, that these steps have been made. But yet we have to do a lot more here to be at the top, required today level. The corresponding program is being realized quite well in general and it is prolonged until 2015.

Many athletes and coaches suggest to revive the network of medical and sports clinics in the regions. I myself used to use the services of such facilities. Their services could be used not only by the members of the national teams, but young sportsmen as well, but the main thing is, that there traditionally worked qualified specialists in the field of the sports medicine. To my mind, these were very demanded institutions.

I know that there are suggestions to set up a national center of sports medicine. This move is also reasonable and we can discuss and implement it.

It is also necessary to analyze the situation in the sphere of the scientific research. Its results are directly connected with the improvement of the sportsmen's training techniques and with the development of sports technologies, which is especially important for the Paralympic athletes.

In conclusion about the questions, which we raise practically at all meeting on the development of sports. Here we talk about active advocacy of physical training and sports, about the role of mass media in this most important work. The time goes by but there are no cardinal changes here yet. The experts think that more than 80% of the journalists” materials are devoted to the direct covering of competitions themselves. Of course, people, first of all, follow these events.

Federal channels evidently lack educational programs and projects on sports topics. I understand that this work requires hard efforts, creativity and creative approach. Of course, nobody needs dull approach here: neither spectators nor channels' ratings. But indeed our task is to create interesting, demanded and necessary programs.

I know that at present the All-Russia State Television and Radio Company is discussing the possibility of creating the all-day sports channel, which could be included in the next multiplex. In general, the theme of the sports and sport way of life advocacy is a priority, of course, for our Council as well.

From the speech of V. Putin at the sitting 
of the Council with the President 
of the Russian Federation 
on the Development 
of Physical Training and Sports 
on November 6, 2012

Administration  of the President  of Russia Administration of the President of Russia