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LSS staff took part in the discussion on Strategy for the Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation until 2030

In April, the Russian Ministry of Sports published a draft Strategy for the Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation until 2030 and invited interested parties to participate in a public discussion of the document. The laboratory staff prepared their comments and observations.

We think that the document creates an important framework that determines the direction of the development of sports in the Russian Federation for the next 10 years. Laboratory staff noted a number of important subjects which should be mentioned in the document or to be accented more precisely. The deepest crisis in which sport ended up as a result of the coronavirus epidemic was left largely outside the scope of this discussion since the prospects for overcoming the current situation are not yet clear. Nevertheless, the risks of prolonging the social distance regime cannot be ignored. The most important comments suggested by the laboratory are published below.

1) It is important to emphasize the prevention of discrimination in sports (including in selection to sports schools, when moving to the next stages of a sports career) of groups of people or individuals according to racial, national, gender, or any other features that are not related to results. In our opinion, Roberto Rosetti, the head of the UEFA Referees Committee, set a perfect example of an initiative to break discriminatory barriers, from which Stephanie Frappar judged the 2019 UEFA Super Cup match. More such initiatives should be implemented.

2) The negative image of Russian professional sports in the international arena that developed in the second half of the 2010s is one of the key challenges as well. The explicit mention of this challenge will help develop effective measures to rectify the situation and solve problems arising from it.

3) Another challenge is the lack of competition in the sports media market (TV channels in particular), which leads to less efficient use of resources and less efficient management of sports broadcasting processes.

4) The actual mono-gender specific of individual sports is another issue. In very popular sports, for example, in football, recent positive changes have been observed in overcoming the imbalance between the involvement of men and women. However, it is still necessary to develop additional measures to overcome the prevailing stereotypes about "sports for boys" or "sports for girls" in other sports.

5) We also suggest distinguishing the popularization of the development of physical education and sport in a separate important area. This might include events to create popular science TV programs, organize popular science lectures, create online media aimed at popularizing sports, etc. Almost no new popular media about sports have appeared in Russia in recent years. At the same time, many of the existing ones are going through difficult times amid the cancellation of major sporting events in 2020. As a result, popular media do not have enough resources, for example, to work with the area of ​​mass recreational sports.

6) We propose to expand the appreciation of scientific work in the field of sports, including social and human sciences, in particular, economics, history, sociology. Stimulating research in these areas would make better use of the rich historical heritage of domestic sports. This would also help to understand more accurately the motives of people to engage in physical education and sports, understand the mechanisms for generating demand for sporting events, and also make better managerial decisions at all levels.

7) It is proposed to highlight separately the objective of involving Russian researchers in the field of sports in the international scientific community. Unfortunately, at present many Russian research teams are de facto isolated from the international scientific sports agenda, which predetermines our lag in the current areas of sports research.

8) It is proposed to highlight separately the objective of creating an incentive system for young scientific and pedagogical workers operating in the field of sports research. Support measures should aim the most talented youth in order to increase the attractiveness of the academic track in the field of sports in comparison with other alternatives. It should also create a natural career path for a graduate student who has conducted research in the sports field while writing a dissertation.

9) The development of street sports, which stimulates the younger generation to lead a healthy lifestyle might be added to the Strategy as well.

10) It is proposed to highlight separately the objective of the stimulation of mutually beneficial cooperation (including by creating specialized platforms and forums) between sports federations, sports clubs, business, and scientific organizations with the aim of introducing modern technologies in sports based on the latest scientific achievements.