On 22 September, the Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan signed a cooperation agreement between the Republic of Tatarstan and the International Swimming Federation (FINA). The Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, in partnership with FINA, will establish the Center for the Development of Water Sports in Kazan. This is the initiative of both parties.
Julio Maglione, President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), and Vladimir Leonov, Prime Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan endorsed the agreement by their signatures. Leyla Fazleeva, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, Cornel Marculescu, Executive Director of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), Grigory Stetsyuk, First Vice President of the All-Russian Swimming Federation, and Ranko Tepavcevic, Deputy Director General of ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects, participated in the signing ceremony.
Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, in his welcoming speech mentioned that the execution of the agreement with FINA is the next step in the development of water sports in Tatarstan:
"Professional relations and close cooperation between the Republic of Tatarstan and International Swimming Federation (FINA) began to develop during the preparation for the 16th World Aquatics Championships, which Kazan hosted in 2015, and now we continue our cooperation. The city has everything required for competitions under the aegis of FINA to be held to the highest standard – experience, infrastructure, love of locals to water sports.
The Ministry of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan, in partnership with FINA, will establish the Center for the Development of Water Sports in Kazan. This is the initiative of both parties. The Center will be located in the Olympic Reserve School ("Olympiyets" sports complex). It is significant that one of those baths used during the 2015 World Aquatics Championships and remained as the heritage of the championships is still kept in the "Olympiyets" sports complex.
I am sure that the Center is to be used by the athletes and coaches from the Republic of Tatarstan, who will move to a new level. To ensure the participation of coaches and swimming experts from Tatarstan in the training activities of the Center is one of our principal tasks. It will contribute to their professional development. Of course, it relates tour homegrown athletes to whom our Center will help to make a serious step ahead. This is a great event for us and for everyone interested in water sports", Vladimir Leonov said.
Also, Vladimir Leonov noted that the main sports higher institution of the region – Volga Region Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism – will actively cooperate with the Center, since the increased focus will be implemented on educational programmes on the basis of the new venue.
Julio Maglione, President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), admitted that Kazan is the best place in Russia for the construction of such venues.
"Kazan is the sports center of Russia, its sports capital, and we are always glad not only to come here and organize various international competitions, but also actively cooperate with the Republic of Tatarstan. With the support of water sports provided by the President Rustam Minnikhanov, as well as with the well-coordinated work of a large team of professionals led by Vladimir Leonov, there is no doubt that the Center for the Development of Water Sports is destined to appear right here. There is an excellent infrastructure, thanks to which professional sport is being developed and more people get involved in sports and start leading a healthy lifestyle. I am convinced that this project will be beneficial for all parties. It will be successful and contribute to the promotion and development of different water sports not only in Tatarstan, but also throughout the world", Julio Maglione declared.
Leyla Fazleeva, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, welcomed the representatives of FINA and expressed her confidence in the successful cooperation.
"We are very glad to welcome our guests, who have been closely cooperating with us for many years. The result of this cooperation is already obvious – Tatarstan is the leader in terms of development of the sports infrastructure and involvement of the population in sports. I am sure that this step will bring success to all of us", said Leyla Rinatovna.
Whereas, Grigory Stetsyuk, First Vice President of the All-Russian Swimming Federation, expressed support for the decision to establish the Center for the Development of Water Sports in Kazan. He noted that, for their part, the Federation will provide all the methodological and organizational assistance in the development of the Center, and the project will give impetus to the development of Russian swimming.
Competitions under the auspices of FINA, as well as Russian and republican water sports competitions are regularly held in Kazan. Apart from the flagship 2015 World Aquatics Championships, Kazan hosts the FINA Swimming World Cup from 2018. In 2016, FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships took place in Kazan. In 2017, Tatarstan won the right to host the FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) in 2022.
The work of the new center will be aimed at creating favorable conditions for the effective preparation of athletes from different countries for the World Championships and the Olympic Games, under the auspices of FINA. The Russian side will provide infrastructure and coaching support. It is worth noting that such centers are currently operating in the USA, Thailand and Senegal.
In the future, training courses for athletes and qualification upgrading courses for coaches based on the FINA programme, FINA School aimed at training officials in 6 water sports disciplines, FINA certification programme for coaches, and international FINA seminars will be available in the Center for the Development of Water Sports.
Objectives of the Center:
· To create the infrastructure for training and educational processes, which will help to elicit the maximum potential from each athlete;
· To provide athletes with the necessary medical supervision in order to maintain / improve their health condition;
· Organize the educational platform for training coaches and officials (referees) in order to improve the level of their knowledge and skills.
The program of the Development Center consists of 5 modules:
1. FINA Scholarships – only for athletes. The FINA Scholarship Programme provides an opportunity to receive partial financial and technical support from FINA for one elected elite athlete chosen by his national federation. The scholarship helps the athlete in his training and qualification upgrading for the upcoming world championships;
2. FINA qualification upgrading courses – for coaches and officials (referees);
3. FINA schools – only for officials (referees);
4. FINA Certification Programme for coaches;
5. International FINA seminars.
Nowadays, swimming is one of the most popular public sports prioritized in the Republic of Tatarstan. Swimming takes the fourth place out of 119 sports, which are being developed in the region, and the third place – among 75 sports cultivated in local youth athletic centers. More than 30,000 people are engaged in swimming in the Republic of Tatarstan.
The period from 2013 to 2017 in Tatarstan is notable for a steady interest of the population in swimming. The FINA World Aquatics Championships hosted by Kazan in 2015 provoked the explosion of interest.
There are 223 (10 outdoor) and (213 indoor) swimming pools with a total area of 53,348 sq.m. All bowls of swimming pools are located in 92 indoor swimming venues (pools) and 45 indoor sporting venues (sports and health complex and swimming pool) in the Republic.
One-time capacity of all the republican pools is 8,332 people per hour. According to the results of 2017, the pool occupancy in the Republic of Tatarstan was 98.2%. Today, Tatarstan is consistently among the regions – leaders of Russia in terms of the number of institutions in the field of physical culture and sports. The main task of building such venues on the territory of Tatarstan is to provide each municipal region with a swimming pool and universal sports gym. Tatarstan seeks to provide more people with the opportunity to engage in physical culture and sports. Residents of Tatarstan want to embrace sport, because now all efforts are being made in order to provide them with such opportunities.
Positive dynamics in the growth of number of young athletes has been observed for the last 5 years in the youth swimming centers of Tatarstan. The number has increased from 5,481 people (2,107 of them are girls), according to the statistics of 2013, to 8,048 people (3,193 girls of them are girls), according to the statistics of 2018.
8,048 people attend, 164 coaches (134 of them are full-time) work in 39 branches of Youth Athletic Centers and Specialized Children and Youth Sports School of the Olympic Reserve.
In 2015, the Specialized Children and Youth Athletic Center of Water Sports (swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming) started operating in the Aquatics Palace of Kazan.