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22:51 | Aug 10 | 2011

“Children of Asia” – Rehearsal of Olympics

From August 14 to August 26, 2010 the first summer Olympic Games for junior sportsmen from 14 to 18 years old took place in Singapore. According to Mr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, when organizing these games the IOC used as a prototype the International Games “Children of Asia”, which are held in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) every four years. 

Sports in Yakutia

Development of the physical culture and sports, popularization of the healthy style of life are one of the top priorities for the president and for the government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in their social policy.

There are 1598 sports facilities in the republic today, including 764 gym halls, 5 sports palaces, 10 maneges, 18 stadiums. Availability of specialized staff in the area of physical training and sports is also relatively high in Yakutia. More than 60% of coaches and sports teachers have specialized higher education. This is, however, not enough.

Big attention is paid to mass sport events in the republic, the number of which increases from year to year.

In addition, every four years big sports events interchangeably take place in the republic – “Sport games of the peoples of Yakutia”, olympics in national sport disciplines “Manchaara Games”, Winter Olympics of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Olympics of labor collectives, Games of the peoples of the North, International Games “Children of Asia”. Normally, in preparation for such large-scale sports events the necessary infrastructure is created in towns and villages of the republic, which means building new sport complexes and stadiums. In this way in August 2010 new sports facilities were opened in the town of Olekminsk, which hosted the 5th Olympics of the peoples of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Young Yakutians also like physical training and sports. For more than 10 years young grapplers have been participating in the freestyle wrestling contest “Booturs’ Games” (“booturs” are ancient heroes of the Yakutian epos).

Every May and September Yakutians take part in the days of health-improving running and walking, the Autumn race taking place in all towns and districts in the framework of the all-Russia day of running “Cross-race of Nations”. Sports events, seminars and roundtables also take place during the “Ten days of the National Day of Health” that start in December. Another thing that has recently been gaining popularity in the republic’s capital city is mass morning exercises conducted by known local coaches and fitness-trainers.

Youth and Sports

One of the key priorities in the field of development of physical culture and sports is addressing the needs of youth, of future sportsmen, whose records and achievements will improve Russia’s position in the world’s sports arena. Almost 70% of the republic’s schoolchildren attend sports schools, sports clubs or teenage clubs.

Young sportsmen successfully compete in the competitions of the Far Eastern Federal District, in the all-Russia and international games. Ice hockey players who started their career as kids in the “Energy” ice hockey club, have many times won the all-Russia “Golden Puck” Competition, and now they defend colors of the best Russian clubs. Zoya Polunina, for example, was admitted to the Russian national ice hockey team and participated in the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

More than 60 young sportsmen are members of the Russian national teams in various disciplines.

The Children of Asia Will Meet in 2012

The “Children of Asia” Games have a special place in the children’s and junior sports not only of the republic, but of the whole Asian part of Russia, the CIS, and countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The Games have been recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia, and they are held under a patronage of the International Olympic Committee and the President of the Russian Federation. The objective of the Games is to unite different countries on issues related to the development of junior sports, to promote ideas of the Olympic movement, to strengthen friendship and peace on the Planet.

The first “Children of Asia” Games were held in 1996 at the initiative of the first president of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Mikhail Nikolaev in honor of the 100-years anniversary of the modern Olympic Games. The games hosted more than 250 young sportsmen from 6 countries and 4 Russian regions.

Similarly to the Olympic Games, the second “Children of Asia” Games were held in 4 years. In 2000, as many as 1178 young sportsmen from 13 countries and 23 Russian regions participated in the Games.

In 2012, the 5th International Games “Children of Asia” will be inaugurated in Yakutsk.

More than 3000 people are expected to take part in the Games, including young sportsmen, their coaches, special guests and sport managers from Russia and more than 20 other countries.

The “Children of Asia” Games have triggered intensive construction of sports facilities that meet the world’s best standards.

In the framework of preparation for the 5th “Children of Asia” Games, construction of new facilities has been started, such as that of the “Center of Athletic Instruction” (a sports and entertainment complex for 3000 visitors), which will serve as the central facility for the Forum and become one of the largest objects of sports infrastructure in the Far Eastern Federal District. Another facility to be built is a new sports complex with a swimming pool. In addition, a new passenger terminal that will make possible receiving and servicing international flights will soon be put into service in the airport of Yakutsk.

“Russia is a Sports Power”

In the end of July the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev took part in the International Forum “Russia is a Sports Power”. At a meeting with heads of the international sports organizations the President noted that the development of sports was a high priority for the state in Russia.

“We are in fact a sports power, and development of sports is a high state priority for us. We are preparing for the Universiade (World Student Games) and for the Olympic Games. And of course the quality of our preparation to a significant extent depends on the level of our cooperation with the international federations. We would like the achievements that now exist in the international sports organizations to penetrate into our country as quickly as possible, and for that we need close contacts”, – said Dmitry Medvedev.

In the opinion of the head of the state, the Forum must become one of the central places for public discussion about the development of physical culture and sports not only in Russia, but in the whole world. The Forum seeks to promote health, popularize sports and physical culture among the population and engage in sports children and youth.

In 2012 the International Forum “Russia is a Sports Power” will be held in Yakutsk.


Dmitry Glushko, Vice-President of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

A delegation of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) took part in the International Sports Forum “Russia is a Sports Power”, which took place from July, 29 to August, 1 in Moscow.

3500 people participated in the event, including representatives of 42 countries, sport delegations from all the 83 subjects of the Russian Federation, 22 heads of international sports federations and organizations, 35 heads of executive authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation in the area of physical culture and sports.

The Forum has become a unique professional place for experience exchange and establishing partner relationships with colleagues from all the regions of the country and with representatives of the world sports community.

On July 29 Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of sports, tourism and youth policy of Russia, met with the heads of the International sports federations in the VIP-hall of the Big Sports Arena of the “Luzhniki” Olympic Complex. At this meeting I had the honor to make a presentation of the International Games “Children of Asia”, which are held in Yakutia under the patronage of IOC, and provide information on the work being done in the context of preparation for the International Sports Forum “Russia is a Sports Power” to be held in 2012 in Yakutia.

Vitaly Mutko supported us and invited heads of the International sports federations to take part in the forum that will be held in Yakutsk. The Minister of sports, tourism and youth policy of Russia called the International Games “Children of Asia” a unique social sports project and expressed a positive assessment of the ongoing preparatory work for the upcoming forum.