Sports is more popular among Muscovites

Sports is more popular among Muscovites
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Yevgeny Samarin
Physical fitness has become more popular since the development of a public sports infrastructure. There is a big increase in the number of cross-country ski runs, race and bike tracks and sports stations in courtyards.

Every third Muscovite, or about four million people, including 46,000 people with disabilities, practice sports and are into physical fitness.

“Thanks to the integrated approach to the development of the urban sports infrastructure and the creation of conditions for exercising and sports, the number of people leading an active lifestyle has almost doubled compared to 2010,” Head of the Department of Sport and Tourism Nikolai Gulyayev said at a meeting of the Moscow Government Presidium.

He also noted that about 2.5 million people participated in various sports events in 2016.

Sports infrastructure in Moscow

Physical fitness and a healthy life style are more popular due to the development of the public sports infrastructure.

In Moscow, there are 19,995 sports facilities, including:

  • 11,411 plate structures;
  • 3,654 gyms;
  • 377 swimming pools (with an area of at least 60 square metres);
  • 58 covered skating rinks;
  • 4,495 other facilities (sports areas, cycling grounds, climbing walls, car-racing tracks and go-cart tracks).

Today Moscow sports facilities can accommodate 467,000 people at the same time, which is almost twice as many as in 2010 (258,000 people).

Compared to 2010, the number of quality sports grounds in courtyards has increased 3.5 times from 1,950 to 6,824, the number of cross-country ski tracks was increased by 2.6 times from 142 to 370, and the number of race and cycling tracks was increased by 12 times from 68 to 839. Also, 327 professional workout stations were created in Moscow.

In 2016, Moscow’s sports infrastructure continued to develop. 12 major sport facilities were opened, including the Arena of Legends aquatic centre (the first stage) and the CSKA football stadium for 30,000 spectators. And in the summer of 2017, the Luzhniki Stadium will host the first test match.

In 2017, 48 new sports facilities will be finished. “Of course, the main ones will be the Luzhniki Grand Sports Arena and the Arena of Legends aquatic centre. In addition, the first sports and recreation centre for people with disabilities will be opened,” Gulyayev said.

Ready for Labour and Defence programme, marathon and spartakiads

Thanks to the development of new sports, including workout, push scooter sport, football freestyle and parkour, youth are more actively involved in Moscow’s sporting life.

Also, many public sports events are held: the Moscow Sport in Luzhniki Stadium, the Moscow Marathon, the Leather Ball, the Golden Puck, various spartakiads and other sports events. In 2016, 2.4 million people took part in such events. About 110,000 people attended Moscow Sport Day at Luzhniki Stadium, and over 13,000 children and teens participated in the Leather Ball tournament.

The Ready for Labour and Defence programme helps promote physical fitness and sports. In 2016, 21 test centres were opened, over 100 sites were established and 24 city and district festival were held, so that people could hit the qualifying standards of the programme.

The Active Citizen app also shows the public’s interest in a healthy lifestyle. In 2016, it posted six sport related public polls, which involved 1.2 million people.

To help parents choose a sport for their children, launched a new online service on 1 October 2016. Last year, 5,000 children underwent testing using the service.

Professional sport

At the 31st Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, between 5 and 21 August 2016, the Russian national team included 88 Muscovites (31 percent of the total number of athletes on the team). According to Gulyayev, Muscovites made a great contribution to the final result of the national team, having won almost half of the medals. As a result, Russia ranked fourth in the unofficial team totals with 27 medals.

“Following the performance at the Olympics, winners and coaches received cash awards from the Moscow Government,” Gulyayev said.

On average, the share of Moscow athletes in national teams in various sports is 23 percent.

Confederations Cup, championships and rally

In 2016, 63 major sports events were held, including:

  • Ice Hockey World Championships (6-22 May);
  • World Modern Pentathlon Championships (20-30 May);
  • European Rowing Championships (20-27 June);
  • IHF Women’s Junior World Championship (3-17 July);
  • Silk Way Rally (8-24 July);
  • ICF Dragon Boat World Championships (3-12 September).

In 2017, Moscow will be one of three cities to host the largest football tournament – the Confederations Cup. Three group stage matches will take place at the Otkritiye Arena: Cameroon vs Chili (18 June), Russia vs Portugal (21 June) and Chili vs Australia (25 June). Also, the bronze medal match will be held here on 2 July.

In addition, Moscow will host the Moscow Sabre International Fencing Tournament on 1-5 June and the FINA Swimming World Cup stage on 2-3 August.