“The project is uncommercial” — how Kazan to host I Games of the CIS Countries

By tradition, intense summer awaits the city: the capital of Tatarstan is hosting two tournaments

“The project is uncommercial” — how Kazan to host I Games of the CIS Countries
Photo: salamnews.org

In the summer, Kazan hosts the first Games of the Commonwealth of Independent States Countries. These launches, according to the organizers, are not an echo of the doping scandal, as they were announced already back in 2018 with the support of President Vladimir Putin. The scale of the event, though inferior to the 2013 Universiade, is quite serious: 2,500 athletes from 11 states, 2,000 volunteers, opening and closing ceremonies in the Basket Hall sports arena, extensive cultural and business programmes. As Realnoe Vremya found out, the game's budget has not been finally approved yet, but the organizers assure that there is no commercial component in the project, it is exclusively social and political.

Entrance to the Games will be free

Kazan hosts two sports tournaments this summer: international — the first in the history Games of the CIS Countries, as well as national — the first Russian City Games.

At the briefing in the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan, it was announced that the first Games of the CIS Countries will be held on August 20-27. According to the head of Directorate of Sports and Social Projects ANO Azat Kadyrov, the capital of Tatarstan will receive 2,500 athletes from 11 countries of the Commonwealth. Ukraine has also been invited, but it has not yet confirmed its participation. The competitions will be held in 21 disciplines, including dance sports, karate, judo, weight lifting, etc.

As First Deputy Minister of Sport of Tatarstan Khalil Shaykhutdinov stated, there will be many Tatarstan athletes in Russian national team, it is also planned to use a large number of judges and coaches from Tatarstan.

The competitions will be held at 15 sports grounds, mainly on the basis of the Volga Region Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism. The participants of the Games will live in the Universiade Village, which was renovated last year for 2019 WorldSkill Championship. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in Basket Hall sports arena, admission will be by tickets and invitations that will be distributed to students of the youth school, sports veterans and other honorary citizens. It is planned to attract up to 2,000 volunteers from neighbouring countries to the event.

Since the Commonwealth Games start almost immediately after the Tokyo Olympics, Kadyrov said that they will mainly rely on young athletes from 14 to 23 years old. The organizers hope that their friends and parents will come to cheer for the young athletes (there is a direct air connection from Kazan to many CIS capitals), who, together with Kazan residents and guests of the city, will fill the stands of the Games. Entrance to the Games will be free.

The budget will pay for everything

Answering the question of Realnoe Vremya about the event's budget, Azat Kadyrov said that it has not yet been approved and will be finalized in late January or early February. “The events are traditionally funded collectively: we plan to attract a pool of partners from the federal budget, funds of the Republic of Tatarstan and extra-budgetary sources. There are subtleties in the sports programme, we are currently consulting with Russian and international federations on certain sports, so the final budget figure will be determined at a meeting of the federal organizing committee, which will take place during January and February. As for commercial benefits, I must say that this goal is not pursued, the project is more social and political, especially since youth groups are involved. This is our future, our perspective, our future victories at the Olympic Games," said the head of the Directorate of Sports and Social Projects.

It is planned that the CIS Games will be held every two years in the future. Answering questions from journalists, the organizers said that the competition in Kazan is in no way a response to the doping scandal when Russian athletes were restricted access to international venues since the Games had already been scheduled back in 2018. The project was then supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

By tradition, an extensive cultural and business programme is planned for the days of the Games. The festival of national cuisines, which is popular among Kazan residents, will take place in Gorky Park. Photo: Roman Khasaev

Doping, lapta and gastronomic expanse

By tradition, an extensive cultural and business programme is planned for the days of the Games. The international information centre of the Volga Region Academy will host a meeting of the Council of Ministers of Sports of the Commonwealth Countries, a plenary session and panel discussions on the topic “CIS — the territory of sports”, where it is planned to discuss the topical issues such as doping problems, sports medicine, effective operation of sports facilities, e-sports, etc. Besides, each country will present its capacities in terms of existing sports facilities and infrastructure in order to choose sites where it would be possible to organize sports and training events in the future.

As part of the Games, the Russian festival of national non-Olympic sports in eight disciplines will be held at Trudovye Reservy stadium and Gorky Park on August 20-24, including lapta, tug-of-war, gorodki, archery, and so on. Tatarstan plans to present its athletes in each category. There will be a prize fund for participants.

In the same Gorky Park, there will take place the Kazan festival of national cuisines, where one can not only try culinary delights but also get acquainted with the culture of the CIS countries.

An extreme park will be built for Urban games

At the briefing, the speakers announced another major sporting event — the first Russian city games (Urban games), which will be held in Kazan on June 26-28. The event is dedicated to Youth Day and the 100th anniversary of the formation of TASSR. The competitions will be held in 10 main and three demonstration sports, the most popular among the young generation: parkour, roller sports, flyboard, tenball and others.

The main venue for the competition will be an extreme park under the Millennium bridge, which will be built specifically for this purpose by the beginning of summer. Kadyrov said that the format of the games provides an opportunity for all interested spectators and guests to try themselves in modern sports.

The head of the Directorate of Sports and Social Projects also announced the launch of a competition to develop logos and symbols for both the Commonwealth Games and the Russian City Games. Everyone from the CIS countries can take part in it. The submission period starts on January 27.

According to Kadyrov, the winning logos can become the official symbol of these competitions, which, in his opinion, will be held in the future every two years. “There is a very good opportunity to input your name in the history, not only in the history of the development of sports in Russia but also the large territory of the Commonwealth of Independent States," Kadyrov said.

By Eleanora Rylova