The Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

February 27, 2014. Address by Oksana Kozlovskaya
at the 28th Session of the Legislative Duma of Tomsk Oblast

Duma Chairman Oksana Kozlovskaya opened her address with the traditional greeting of the deputies and the Governor of Tomsk Oblast.

Frau Oksana KoslowskajaAt the beginning of her speech she raised the subject that troubles all people in Russia and across the international community — political situation in Ukraine accompanied by the deepest economic crisis. Forecasts are many and they all predict default and political conflicts.

Russian Public Opinion Research Center held an opinion poll Crisis in Ukraine. What should Russia do? Almost 75% of respondents believe that Russia should not interfere because the conflict is an internal affair of Ukraine. At the same time everyone agrees that Russia and Ukraine have close ties and share history, culture, and families. There are many people for whom both Russian and Ukrainian are native languages. The decision by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to cancel the law on languages infringes on people’s interests and exacerbates confrontations in the society.

The situation is clearly far from normalization. We still hope that common sense will prevail and people of Ukraine will manage to resolve all problems in a civilized and lawful way.

This month the world’s major event was the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Four billion people all over the world followed the games. In his closing speech IOC President Thomas Bach said, «We all have enjoyed exceptional conditions in these Olympic Winter Games. Russia delivered all what it had promised! What takes dozens of years to complete in other parts of the world here was done in 7 years.»

Russian athletes deserve special praise. They won 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals and took the first place for overall medals — a splendid result!

The infrastructure built for the Olympics will provide a basis for further development of Sochi as a big resort and business center of Russia. The new sports facilities will become training grounds for Russian (and foreign) athletes. What’s even more important, for young ones.

At the Games we saw examples of courage, sympathy, responsibility and respect. And it was not accidental. As the Olympic Charter says, «Olympism is a philosophy of life exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles».

Olympic Games have always raised great interest in popular sports and healthy lifestyle. I will give you two examples. When our judoists won at the 2012 Olympics in London, we saw a sharp rise in the numbers of children enrolled in Russian judo clubs. In 2006, an athlete from Tomsk Natalia Baranova won a gold medal in cross-country skiing in Turin, and that provided a boost to skiing in Tomsk.

Of course, professional and popular sports are two very different things. But they are always interrelated. The former aims at maximum result. The latter is aimed at keeping good physical shape and health.

WHO experts unanimously agree that the health of a human being is 70% determined by healthy lifestyle and only 30% by genetics and medicine.

Most developed countries in the world have long ago realized that it is cheaper to prevent than to treat a disease. Compared to expensive modern medicine, healthy lifestyle does not imply high costs and ensures a more pronounced effect. Actually, the very term «healthy lifestyle» was coined in Russia. It implies abandoning bad habits, following a balanced diet and doing sports.

The Public Opinion Fund has recently conducted a poll that showed that on average, only 24% of Russians take sports or exercise. Mostly, men in the age of 18-30 years living in big cities; people with university degree earning more than 20,000 rubles a month. For reference: in Germany 60% of population is engaged in popular sports.

Most Russians go to gyms of fitness centers and take exercise — jogging or walking. But! When asked what kind of exercise they actually prefer, almost half of respondents say they would like to swim.

What is the standing of Tomsk Oblast in this respect?

Today, the sports infrastructure of Tomsk Oblast includes more than 1,500 facilities.

Over the last five years over 2.5 billion rubles was invested from budgets at all levels in construction and modernization of sports facilities. More than 100 facilities were commissioned: indoor track-and-field arena and indoor ice rink in Tomsk and a little later Strezhevoy; a sports hall in Seversk; swimming pools in Asino and Bely Yar; new sports complexes in Pervomaysky and Zyryansky Districts; dozens of all-purpose sporting grounds for secondary schools.

There are also facilities financed from extrabudgetary sources, such as Harmony sports arena and Champion tennis court in Tomsk and an indoor sports hall in Aleksandrovsky District.

The Oblast and Tomsk City Administrations are together working on a project to create a sports park Akadempark which will provide opportunities for Tomsk students to do winter sports and cycling, work out in gyms and train their children.

Still, there is not enough facilities. Yes, it is expensive for budgets and for business. But we have been and will continue investing in sports!

And what could we do to stimulate adherence to healthy lifestyle and promote popular sports in Tomsk without big capital spending?

Today, Tomsk people go in for 70 kinds of sports. Tomsk Oblast traditionally takes part in national sports events such as Ski Track of Russia, Russian Azimuth, Orange Ball, Nation’s Cross-Country Race. It also holds its own unique sports events unparalleled anywhere in Russia. For 34 years already Tomsk Oblast has been holding a winter football tournament with almost 2,500 participants. There are also summer and winter Spartakiad Games of working people held by the municipal entities of Tomsk Oblast.

There are 60 honored trainers of Russia working in the Oblast, 800 trainers, over 550 school teachers, 300 local instructors. Sports professionals are the people who help promote interest in popular sports and healthy lifestyle.

Today, 21 cities in 13 regions of Russia have joined the association Healthy Cities, Districts and Towns. The project is based on the assessment of the benefit of any local government decision on public health. At least 4 cities in Tomsk Oblast (Tomsk, Seversk, Strezhevoy and Asino) could join the association today and later join the WHO’s Healthy Cities project. The next step will be inclusion of those initiatives in our strategic documents.

About the agenda

There are 37 items on the Duma’s agenda.

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