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The Conference “Sport and Society. Open Talk” organized by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation has finished

The conference was held under the auspices of the Ministry for Sport, the Russian Federation, and was timed to the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace established by the United Nations General Assembly

(en) Текст новости

The second day of the conference started with an online workout with Ruslan Panov, a TV presenter, an expert, a counselor and a coordinator of group training programs in X-Fit fitness clubs.  After the workout the training sessions took place.

Vladimir Voloshin, the Executive Partner of Newman Sport, the Co-Founder of the Hot Sport, Ironstar and Rosa Run Moderators; Anastasija Guljavina, the Co-founder of Impact Hub Moscow, the Head of the professional philanthropy school “Friends”; and Vadim Kovalev, the First Deputy Executive Director of the Russian Managers Association were moderators of plenary sessions.

The conference business program started with the discussion on organizing sport events during pandemic limitations.  Anton Kumov, the Deputy Head of the Institute for Computer Technologies and Information Security, Southern Federal University, the Head of the project “Events for Runners - IT Run” shared his practical experience. He said: “We were approached by IT companies who worried that their employees had sedentary way of life. And in response to this enquiry, in 2018, we launched our project: a series of races for office workers. We managed to hold two big races before the pandemic and in 2020 we started online races. And our project stimulated companies to organize their runners’ clubs. It should be noted that this is a charitable initiative and the money we collected as a registration fee was transferred to our university endowment”.

Alexander Gordievskij, the Director of the Tomsk marathon “Brighter” continued the discussion. He told the participants about the online school for runners that helps thousands of people of different ages to keep fit. He stated: “Our school appeared in 2016 and since its development it has functioned as an online school. We tried to implement a standard offline format but it is unpredictable in terms of expenditure and the number of participants. And online trainings have become popular from the start. We held our first online marathon in 2018 in Tomsk, and at present we are among top three most effective marathons and we are one of the most fast-growing running communities”.

According to Tatyana Hizhnjakova, the Vice-President of the Association “Special People” and the Head of the Project “Special Sport”, sport is a powerful tool for socialization of people with autism specter disorders, the number of whom is growing by 13% annually.  Tatyana said: “Our task is not records, but socialization of people with mental disability and broadening professional competencies of trainers and assistants working in this area. We started training special people solo sports, then included some social interactions and then involved intellectual sports and sport camps. We planned to organize team sports but the pandemic changed our plans. We urgently had to go online to continue trainings because people with mental disability perceive any changes in their lifestyle very painfully.  I can add that today seven out of ten sports are being successfully taught online and we will continue this online practice”.

Alexandra Doronina, a Nike Brand Manager in the “Run” category, continued the discussion. She told the participants about sport initiatives implemented by the company during the pandemic. Alexandra noted: “We set a task to support activity of our participants, help them to lead a healthy lifestyle and feel unity during the pandemic through our online platform.  And we managed to achieve impressive results: we increased popularity of jogging, yoga, football and sport programs for children. We had regular broadcasting on Instagram and on our channel on Youtube and a lot of other things”.

The conference continued with a discussion on staff training for implementation sport initiatives. The experts discussed training of social coaches by NGOs and HEIs in Russia and abroad, teaching methods and where people working in the area can get advice.

Olga Sloutsker, the President of Special Olympics in Russia shared her ideas on how this global movement is developing in our country and how it changes lives of its participants. Olga pointed out: “Special Olympics is a global charitable organization who develops its programs in 190 countries and gives opportunities for people with mental disability to feel as a part of the community. Special Olympics in Russia has offices in 62 regions. At the moment our most significant achievement is holding Special Olympics 2022 in Kazan. We are looking forward to this event and this will be a great celebration for the participants and their families which will demonstrate power of people who overcame difficult circumstances”.

Igor Baradachev, the Program Head of Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation also shared his experience in implementation sport initiatives. He said: “If we are talking about our social sport programs, we should mention that motivation of participants, developed infrastructure, trained professionals and the developed system of competitions are essential. We have several innovative solutions in the area: the distance-learning system, the children’s sledge team, the training program for parents and events for developing a team coordinators and trainers”.

Sergey Evseev, the Professor of the Department for Adaptive Physical Education of Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health noted that it is crucial to take into account mentality and cultural background of children in their socialization.  He said: “Our children should be integrated in the society and become members of the society as other people. To conduct successful socialization it is necessary to consider specific features of the region where a child lives. Our department was established in 1995 and now we are implementing the third generation of programs in adaptive physical education and we also have a number of programs in additional education. 62 HEIs all over the country use these program to train professionals who work with people with special needs”.

Markus Arvaja, the senior teacher of applied sciences at university Haaga Helia and a member of the board of the Finish Society for Sport Psychology talked about the Finnish system of preparation of trainers who specialize in social sport.  Finland. He stated: “In Finland, we pay significant attention to development of social interaction skills that are as important as technical aspects. When we start teaching trainers we pay attention to the goal – a trainer must understand what his mission is. Moreover, he must predict the final result and understand how to achieve it. One more aspect that needs to be discussed is a theory of self-determination. We all have a need to feel competent, independent and involved.  And a trainer can give this to his students”.

The final part of the conference was dedicated to the problem of finding sources for social projects implementation. Natalya Belogolovtseva, the Director and Founder of the All-Russia Rehabilitation Program “Dream Ski” noted that about 30% of population will have had various health problems by 2030. And it will be important to help these people.  She said: “I personally think that these people enter the world to create positive energy and save the world. In “Dream Ski”, we don’t divide children according to their diagnosis. At present, “Dream Ski” is 40 regions from Murmansk to Kamchatka, 110 built infrastructure facilities and thousands of children who find future due to their participation in the program”.  

Daniel Anorve, the Professor from Guanajuato University presented her expert view on social sport in Mexico. According to the Professor, less than a half of the country’s population leads active lifestyle and less than a quarter follows WHO standards that recommend a certain number of physical exercises. She said: “Sport in Mexico became unavailable for many people during the period of 1991 to 2000 due to budgetary problems. Regular sport events were held rarely. Nowadays the country and business unite their efforts to improve the situation and demonstrate that sport is a tool to achieve well-being and gender equality and create the inclusive society”.

Ilya Averbukh, an Honoured Master of Sports on Figure Skating, the silver Olympic medalist in Salt Lake City, thinks that support od social sport is a new field for business. He pointed out: “A lot is being done at the government level, media people are being attracted, but it is not enough. Engaging sportsmen has a great significance, but it is a supplement. People will be involved if sufficient conditions are created”.

Recordings of the conference are available in our account on the  YouTube.

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