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19:48 | Sep 06 | 2012

Children are the main return on investment

That is how Vladimir Maximov, the head of the Directorate of the Games, estimates the value of “Children of Asia”.

Vladimir Maximov has been head of the Directorate of the Games “Children of Asia” since autumn 2008. The Directorate of the Games may soon become one of the divisions of the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia). The proposed name is International Sports Games “Children of Asia”. The headquarters of this independent non-profit organization will be located in Yakutsk. Shall we “give away” “Children of Asia” to another country? Vladimir Maximov answered this and other questions.

Moving forward
- The goals and objectives of the Games “Children of Asia”, based on the principles of Olympism, were established in 1996. We are not allowed to change them, because our Games were major events that promoted the principles of Olympism and they came around. They are Games not festival or tournament. All previous Games coped with the task – to promote the Olympic movement in general. We are pleased that we participated in giving rise to such a thing as youth Olympism. So we must move forward. And, most importantly, the age of participants of the Games “Children of Asia” does not coincide with the age of the participants of the Youth Olympic Games or any other Olympic festivals. We have the best, if I may say so, "that very" age (16 and younger), when children begin their first steps in sport, while at the same time, they are already strong and have acquired sportsmanship skills. This is a very advantageous fact because there are few competitions for children of this age worldwide.
For example, the second Youth Asian Games will be held in Nanjing, China in 2013. The age of the participants there will be the same. A year later, the second Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing. Again the age is the same. In such a way systematic training of young athletes is organized. Many of them, having undergone competitions of such decent level, will successfully perform in the adult Olympic Games in 2016, and any subsequent ones.
- At one of the Yakut forums there has been a considerable discussion that the next sixth Games "Children of Asia" will take place in another country.
- I know that this topic is being discussed. My personal opinion is that VI Games “Children of Asia” must take place (having the new status) in the city of Yakutsk. In preparation for these Games, if necessary, a bidding process to determine the host country for the seventh Games may be carried out.

There have always been and will be grumblers
- As part of the preparation for The Games our capital gets an indoor football arena, a swimming pool, a sports complex for 3,000 seats and an extension to the SC "Modun". These objects will accommodate new employees, and that means a significant increase of sports and athletic trainer staff.

- Yes, there will be many jobs. All of these sports facilities will never be empty. They will be fully utilized. The question of how to release some of the objects for the federal budget maintenance is being worked out. Moreover, in recent years, the Russian government frequently raises the question of the development of mass sports. This is one of the priorities of social policy.
Now, so to say, it has become fashionable to engage in physical culture and sport, to look after one's health. And today people need gyms. For example, would one find here, in Yakutsk, any empty sports facility? We physically do not have enough of them. Whether we talk about pools, athletics or football arenas. And the new facilities will not be empty if their work is correctly set up.
- In the year of the Games there are some people who begin to grumble that budget money is better spent on building houses, schools and kindergartens.
- Such grumblers have always been and will be. And not only in our Republic but also in any other Russian region, and in any other country. It is true that at the initial stage, high costs were charged to the Republic's budget. Now the federal agencies are paying tribute to the fact that one subject of the Federation held such a large-scale international event.
Here the main return on investment is the children. They get international experience at home. Moreover, thanks to the Games many sports were given a powerful impetus for further development. Plus, we get acquainted with the major organization men, not only from the sphere of sport, but also economics, politics, culture and business. And Yakutia is viewed from a different angle by these organization men.
As for the construction of kindergartens, playgrounds and schools, today our Republic is a leader in the commissioning of social institutions. Games “Children of Asia” is special purpose allocation of federal funds. And it must be emphasized that this additional funding is neither planned by the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy, nor the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

We are waiting for a “Triumph”
- Mr Maximov, we all know that Russia from sports point of view is a pro-European country, i.e. national federations and associations of sports are members of corresponding European sport structures. Does this fact create any problems in work with the OCA?

- No, it doesn’t, as the rules of the competition were prepared in accordance with the international rules. And the OCA, roughly speaking, does not bother us with requests to add or remove something. The Games are planned in such a way that those guys who participate this year, will be able to participate in the II Youth Olympic Games in China in 2 years. This is one of our trump cards.
- After the end of our Games there will be just a few days before the opening of the Olympic Games in London. Could this fact interfere with the work of Forum “Russia - Country of Sports”? Could the program be narrowed down?
- No, because the content part of the forum will end one week before the Games. The forum will take two working days at the beginning of the ISG “Children of Asia”. In Yakutsk, there has never been such a roomy, with three thousand seats, object as the “Triumph” (working title of the sports complex. - Ed.). By the way, its full name is an indoor sports and entertainment complex. That is, it can house competitions, cultural and entertainment events (concerts, exhibitions). “Triumph” will be fully equipped with ultra-modern sound and lighting equipment. That's why as I said that if the work of these objects is properly organized they may, shall we say, exist in a self-contained mode. Of course, in our northern climate, these objects cannot be put on a full cost accounting.
In this sense, the capital of Tatarstan - Kazan is a good example for us. How many great objects they are commissioning! And they are functioning well. All major objects of Yakutsk are built not only for the competitions of the Games “Children of Asia”, but also to ensure that they would work for a long time for the good of the population in the future.