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Following the results of the meeting of the Presidential Council on Physical Culture and Sport Vladimir Putin instructed to establish a Handball Development Program till 2024.

“Commission to establish a development program for handball and sambo till 2024, – for Government of the Russian Federation executive bodies that head these core kinds of sport, the Handball Federation of Russia and the All-Russian Sambo Federation”, – says the official Kremlin web-site.

“Sport-Express” turned to President of the HFR Sergey Shishkarev for comments.

– It wouldn’t be enough to say that I’m glad or happy. I’m deeply satisfied that the President’s commission contains a paragraph about handball, not just on the regional level or separate governmental bodies, but on Governmental level. This gives us a chance by joining forces to prepare an overall handball development program that will not only drive our handball to good results but will lay a foundation for its further growth. We are ready to dive into work.

– What will you put emphasis on in the Program?

– Firstly, it is the development of the children’s and youth sport. We should guide young people who just finished sport schools or Olympic Reserve Academies but haven’t gotten in the elite sport. I believe it is necessary to establish Students League and it should be high-quality All-Russian competitions. Besides, we should create federal regional centers for handball development tied to the historical “handball capitals” – Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Tolyatti. We should definitely spread the net to Tatarstan, beyond the Urals and hopefully to the Far East.

– Many times, you’ve talked about the necessity of infrastructure construction…

– Yes, a part of the Program will be devoted to infrastructure. It is impossible to talk about development of children’s and youth sport without it. We propose to introduce a new standard of multi-purpose sport fields and halls in regular schools, where kids could play handball, mini-football, basketball, volleyball. Among the other things, there should be appropriate halls for training and matches for amateurs as well as professional clubs and national teams.

– What are other aspects to be noted in the document?

– A separate issue is personnel affairs – training of coaches, professional referees and handball managers. We need those people who can properly organize and hold competitions to secure spectators’ interest and commercial benefit – advertisement and marketing. And of course, we can’t skip the top-level sport – both at a clubs’ level and at national teams’ level. We would like to nail down the Olympic success.

Sport-Express, November 12, 2016