In Russia, a healthy lifestyle begins at a young age with children quickly introduced to sport while at school.

School Sports

A joint order agreed by the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Education in Russia has the aim of developing school sports until 2024.

The order has the target of increasing the number of children involved in sport, as well as the number of schools running activities.

It is hoped that by 2024, sports clubs will be up and running at all educational institutions.

School sport leagues will also be created to provide competitions, as well as large events for children such as the Presidential Sports Games and the All-Russian Sports Games.

From 2021, children from other member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States will take part in order to promote competition at international level.

"I am absolutely sure that sport today is one of the most effective mechanisms for preserving our and future generations, creating a strong country," Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said.

"Sport is a real school of life.

"It helps to feel what a person can be and aspire to, teaches respect for team-mates and rivals, and the ability to lose and respect the successes of others.

"These are the qualities that help in life, which are basic values for any person."

Sport in Russia begins from childhood ©Russian Sports Ministry
Sport in Russia begins from childhood ©Russian Sports Ministry

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Ready for Labour and Defense Festival

More than 250,000 children took part in the qualifying stages of the Ready for Labour and Defense (TRP) Festival.

This preceded the final of the festival which took place in late 2021 at the Artek International Children's Centre.

In qualifying, children competed to earn a spot at Artek.

"This bright sports festival is annually highly appreciated by the sports community as one of the main multi-stage physical culture and sports events for schoolchildren," said Russia's Deputy Sports Minister Odes Baysultanov.

"I am glad to note that systematic physical education and sports are the norm for the participants of the Festival.

"It is on their active participation in the country's sports movement that the further development of national sports largely depends."

In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 80 children aged between 11 and 15 battled for the right to get to Artek.

Races were held over 60 metres and 2000m, while other disciplines included throwing a ball weighing 150 grams, bending over from a standing position, long jump, pull-ups, push-ups and shooting.  

In Novosibirsk, 120 children from the 15 best municipalities attempted to reach Artek. As well as the physical and sporting challenges, the youngsters also passed theory tests.

Eighty-five children took part in Pskov, while two days of qualifying were held in the Kemerovo region.

In the Belgorad region, a qualifying festival went on for several days. On day one, children took part by running 60m, bending/extending the arms in the lying position, pulling up on a high bar and swimming 50m.

On day two, there was longer running over 1500m and 2000m as well as throwing a ball. In total, 160 children took part from 20 districts.

Elizaveta Tikhanova is one of the children who has booked her place at Artek, and won her stage.

"I will look forward to my trip to Artek," she said.

"I am interested in meeting the guys, learning something new about the TRP complex.

"But the most interesting thing would be to take part in some unusual joint training sessions."

Forty-one sports are part of the Summer Spartakiad of Youth of Russia ©Russian Sports Ministry
Forty-one sports are part of the Summer Spartakiad of Youth of Russia ©Russian Sports Ministry

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Summer Spartakiad of Youth of Russia

In 2021, the fifth edition of the Summer Spartakiad of Youth of Russia was held.

An Opening Ceremony was staged on June 5 at the Boxing and Table Tennis Center in Kazan and competitions were held in 41 sports, across 13 regions of Russia, between May 15 and August 29.

Regional competitions were held to qualify young athletes for the final stages of the Spartakiad.

Overall team results from the event are split into three categories, depending on the population of different areas.

Group one is for areas of two million people or more, group two is for populations of up to two million and group three is for populations of up to one million.

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Healthy Children - Healthy Russia Gymnastrada

More than 640 teams from 57 regions of Russia took part in the Healthy Children - Healthy Russia Gymnastrada final at the Irina Viner-Usmanova Gymnastics Palace in Moscow.

They were whittled down from more than 10,000 children who entered the gymnastics competition in total.

The event is the idea of Viner-Usmanova, an acclaimed gymnastics coach who has received the Olympic Order.

"This project demonstrates the common desire of the sports community to do everything possible to ensure that our children are healthy, that they come to sports, so that they do gymnastics, its various types," said Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin.

"The most important thing is for them to feel themselves worthy citizens of our country.

"Adults grow out of children, so our common task is for children to be happy, to be proud of their country, their coaches, their schools, where they studied, and receive their first education and sports lessons.

"I would like to thank Irina for this project, for the idea and its implementation, for the academy, thanks to which this project took place."

A joint order has the aim of developing school sports until 2024 ©Russian Sports Ministry
A joint order has the aim of developing school sports until 2024 ©Russian Sports Ministry

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Vector of Childhood 

The Russian Sports Ministry was represented at the first All-Russian Forum called "Vector of Childhood", which was held to coincide with International Children's Day in 2021. 

A presentation was made which covered themes including "Kindegarten and Sports", "Sports to School" and "Sports in the Yard".

Examples of best practices around Russia were highlighted, including a workshop on rope skipping in Omsk and a school volleyball league in Tatarstan.

Forum participants discussed maximising the number of children in sport, and working with families - particularly those in smaller and remote areas.

The need to create sports clubs for children was discussed and best practices were shared.

Also covered was creating the best sporting conditions for children with disabilities.