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Entries / Physical Education and Sports (entry)

Physical Education and Sports (entry)

Categories / Sports

PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORTS. Russian amateur athletic activities date back to the first yacht club in Russia Nevsky Fleet, founded in 1718 by the order of tsar Peter the Great (see Yacht Clubs). In 1827 a swimming school was opened on the Neva. In 1858, the Handy Seaman Amateur Group opened on the Chernaya Rechka (from 1860, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, which laid the foundation for development of rowing sports; see Rowing Clubs). In 1853 the first Russian Chess Club was organised, in 1863 - Palma Gymnastic Society, in 1864 - the Society of Amateur Skaters, in 1897 - Polyarnaya Zvezda Skiing Club (Shuvalovo). By the end of the 19th century clubs and amateur group for tennis, hockey, and figure-skating practice opened in St. Petersburg as well. The first official world figure-skating championship took place in St. Petersburg in 1896. In 1888 P.P. Moskvin organised a circle of amateur runners in Tyarlevo (St. Petersburg suburb), which laid foundation for track and field athletics in Russia. The first running competitions took place in Tyarlevo, and from 1892 - other sports competitions were added: heel-and-toe walk, jumping and throwing. The first Russian championship in track and field athletics was dated for the 20-year anniversary of Tyarlevo Circle (1908). In the 1870s the first football teams were organised in St. Petersburg. The St. Petersburg Society of Amateur Athletes took an active part in the development of this sport. By 1890 there were 3 football teams in St. Petersburg (Nevsky Club, Nevka, Viktoriya), in 1900 their number grew to 15. From 1897 football matches were held on a regular basis. In 1901, the St. Petersburg Football League was founded. Basketball has been cultivated since 1906 at Mayak St. Petersburg Sport Society. The first and only Russian Olympic champion prior to 1917 was St. Petersburg figure-skater N.A. Panin-Kolomenkin in London in 1908. The origin of weightlifting (back then, it included wrestling and boxing) dates back to 1885. Hygienic Gymnasts Club organised by doctor V.F. Kraevsky in his apartment was transformed in 1885 into the Athletes Club, attended by students and workers. In 1899 one of Kraevsky's students, worker from St. Petersburg S.I. Eliseev, won the weightlifting champion of the world title in Milan (Italy). In 1897 the first wrestling championship of Russia and the first boxing match took place in St. Petersburg. All wrestling practice amateur groups and societies were united in 1913 into the All-Russian Weightlifting Union, headed by the chairman of Sanitas St. Petersburg Society A.A. Chaplinsky. In 1898 the first Russian automobile races took place in St. Petersburg, and in the same year the Russian Motorcycle club was organised. In 1899 the first race from Moscow to St. Petersburg was organised with 6 participants. The first Russian motorcycle race was held in St. Petersburg in 1898. From the 1870s, the theory-based system of physical education, founded by anatomist and physician professor P.F. Lesgaft, was developed in the capital. In 1872 Lesgaft began lecturing in anatomy at his apartment (Lesgaft Home Courses), concentrating on the issues of physical education. On his initiative in 1896 the High Courses for Conductresses and Governesses of Physical Training were organised - the first and only school of its type in Russia, preparing professional teachers of physical education (today, it is called Lesgaft State Academy of Physical Education). In 1918 military athletic clubs of Universal Military Training were organised. In 1920-40s the following sport societies were created: Dinamo (1923), Spartak (1935), then Burevestnik, Krasnoe Znamya, Avangard, Torpedo, Medik, Stroitel, Labour Unions Voluntary Sports Society, etc., and the following sports and physical training facilities were completed: Lenin Stadium (today, Petrovsky Stadium), Kirov Stadium, Dinamo Stadium, gyms, and physical training centres. Leningrad championships of football, track and field athletics, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, weight-lifting and boxing were held. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) Leningrad athletes fought in field forces and made a great contribution to training reserves, educating soldiers and commanders in practical military athletics. In June 1941, the first 13 guerrilla detachments, which laid the foundation of guerrilla movement in Leningrad region, were formed from students and teachers of Lesgaft Institute. On 31.5.1942, an athletic festival was organised in Leningrad. A football match which took place on 8.5.1942 in besieged Leningrad was of great moral importance. In autumn of 1943 a rowing competition took place. In 1944 Zenit football team won the USSR Soccer Cup. After the Great Patriotic War Leningrad athletes joined various national teams. At the 22nd Moscow Olympics (1980) there were 45 Leningraders in the Soviet delegation, who won over 50 medals including 23 gold titles. The largest sports facilities in St. Petersburg are: Petrovsky Stadium, Yubileyny Sports Palace, Ice Palace, and other sports arenas, Peterburgsky Sports And Music Arena; there are also swimming pools, skating rinks, etc. St. Petersburg athletes regularly participate in largest international competitions winning top places. For instance, in August 2001, the team of Lesgaft Academy of Physical Education earned the title of absolute champions in rhythmic gymnastics at the World Student Games in Beijing.

Reference: Ленинград спортивный: Справ. / Авт.-сост. А. И. Иссурин, Н. Я. Киселев. Л., 1982; Олимпийская летопись Петербурга / Гос. акад. физ. культуры им. П. Ф. Лесгафта. СПб., 2002.

I. A. Bogdanov.

Chaplinsky A.A.
Eliseev S.I.
Kirov (real name Kostrikov) Sergey Mironovich
Kraevsky V.F.
Lesgaft Peter Franzevich
Moskvin P.P.
Panin-Kolomenkin Nikolay Alexandrovich
Peter I, Emperor

The subject Index
Yacht Clubs (entry)
Rowing Clubs
Lesgaft Academy of Physical Education, State, St. Petersburg
Petrovsky Stadium.
Kirov Stadium
Zenit, football club
Ice Palace
Peterburgsky Sport Concert Complex