Results of the sports year in the Republic of Tatarstan were summed up today at the press conference by the Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, Vladimir Leonov, and Director General of the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects, Maksim Denisov. After that, teams representing media of the Republic of Tatarstan, athletes of the Special Olympics of the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects took part in a friendly floorball match. The team of the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan became the winners of the tournament.
"The outgoing year was not easy and was marked by impactful events. We are grateful to our colleagues from the Ministry of Sports of Russia, with whom we work jointly on all our projects. This year we have carried out a lot of work on the construction of sports infrastructure since the Universiade, not only in Kazan but throughout the Republic. Despite the global quarantine and border closure, we nevertheless achieved success both in the international arena and at the Russian championships. We were among the first to open facilities for athletes, open sports schools, and return spectators to the stands. I would like to thank this year. We are moving forward with optimism. We look forward to the Olympic year, multiple events of the world cups and world series; therefore, we continue our intensive work on the development of the sports sector," said the Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, Vladimir Leonov.
Maksim Denisov, in turn, told about international events that are planned for the coming year and at the beginning of 2022. "I would like to point out right away: while organising events, all safety measures that current time imposes will be observed; they will be held per the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare), the Ministry of Sport of Russia and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan," the head of the Directorate emphasized.
In February, Kazan will host the Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games. This is a test event ahead of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022.
"For the Republic of Tatarstan, the news about staging the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 in Kazan was a great joy. Competitions for people with intellectual disabilities are very important and require serious and thorough preparation. We comprehend all the responsibility entrusted to us," Denisov said.
Due to the unfavourable epidemiological situation in the world, the Special Olympics International decided that foreign athletes will not participate in the Invitational Games in February 2021. Only Russian athletes will take part in the competition.
The test event will allow us trying out the equipment, staff, and operational activities before the 2022 Games.
The Invitational Games will be held on 3-8 February in 6 sports (Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing). The approximate number of athletes is up to 800 people. Competitions will be held at 4 venues: Sviyaga Alpine Skiing Complex, Burevestnik Stadium, Lokomotiv Sports Complex, and Sports Palace.
The competition calendar for 2021 is very intense. The FINA competitions (World Series events), which were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, will continue. In 2021, FINA Diving World Series (March 19-21), FINA Artistic Swimming World Series (April 16-18), and FINA Swimming World Cup (October 28-31) will be held in Kazan.
The FINA Development Centre, which has been existing in Tatarstan for 2 years, also continues its work in Kazan. The main objective of the centre is to create the most favourable conditions for effective unlocking of the potential of athletes representing countries with minor national achievements in aquatic sports, improving the qualifications of coaches and judges from Russia and neighbouring countries, conducting educational programs for coaches and judges, etc. By FINA decision, 13 swimmers and 7 divers from Georgia, Nigeria, Guatemala, Afghanistan, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Rwanda, Angola, Ghana, Tajikistan, Albania, Colombia, Venezuela, Lithuania, and Cuba will join the international team of Kazan athletes. It is planned that the athletes will train throughout the year under the guidance of the FINA Development Centre coaches.
2020 has become a significant year for the development of extreme sports in Tatarstan – thanks to the opening of the URAM park. This venue hosted First All-Russian Urban Games, in which 1,074 athletes from more than 20 regions of Russia took part. During two days of competition, the Games were attended by over 8,000 spectators. Thanks to live broadcast more than 500,000 people watched the competition. We received positive feedback from the Russian sports federations, and words of gratitude from the festival participants. In order to popularize and develop such sports, it is planned to organise the Games on an annual basis.
Another significant project, which was also rescheduled for 2021, is the 1st CIS Games. They are planned to be held on September 4-11.
The LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships (25m) will be held at the Aquatics Palace on 2-7 November 2021. Competitions will be held in 19 events for men and women (17 individual and 2 relays). The expected number of athletes is 650-700 people.
Further, Maksim Denisov shared the details of organising the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022. It is worth reminding that at the federal level, the event preparation coordination is carried out by the Ministry of Sport of Russia. Representatives of the Special Olympics movement give a high rating to the work on preparation for the competitions at the federal and regional levels.
2,000 athletes and Unified Partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries are expected to participate in the Games.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games include 7 sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floorball, Short Track Speed Skating Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing. It is planned to use 5 sports venues for the Games: Sviyaga Alpine Skiing Complex will host Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding competitions, Burevestnik Stadium – Snowshoeing, Kazan Tennis Academy – Floorball, and Sports Palace – Figure Skating and Short Track Speed Skating, Skiing and Biathlon Complex – Cross Country Skiing.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Games will be held on January 22 and 28, respectively. The venue is the Tatneft Arena. The ceremonies’ concept is under development.
Another long-term social project that the team of the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects is working on is the implementation of the Russian National Health and Fitness Programme (GTO Complex).
One of the strategic tasks of the sports sector is to increase the effectiveness of the GTO complex as a tool for involving the population in regular physical exercises and sports.
The head of the Directorate mentioned that on 11 March 2021, it will be exactly 90 years since All-Union GTO complex (the continuation of which is the revived modern GTO complex on the territory of Russia) was introduced in 1931 in the USSR.
Next year, the Ministry of Sport of Russia plans to integrate GTO standard testing elements into all provisions for physical culture and sports events, as well as holding a GTO ten-day event in March 2021, dedicated to the commemorative date of the 90th anniversary of the complex.
Denisov also mentioned the cooperation with the Soyuzmultfilm studio on producing the animated series about the life of the official GTO mascots. "The concept of the series has been written, the characters have been identified, active work is performed to digitize and make them into a 3D image. The Federal GTO Ambassadors and famous athletes took an active part in this," said Maksim Denisov.
Press Office of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects