On September 8, 2021, the President of the Handball Federation of Russia Sergey Shishkarev spoke at a meeting of the thematic round table "Development of professional sports in the regions of the Russian Federation, considering the transformation of the model of its financing" at the “Russia - Country of Sports” Forum in Kazan.
The head of the HFR noted that Russian handball players, despite all the objective and subjective difficulties with the revival of this sport in the country, adequately represent the country in the international arena. Over the past five years, they have won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, silver at the 2020 Olympics, silver at the 2018 European Championship and bronze at the 2019 World Championship. Sergey Shishkarev stressed that such successes are impossible without the development of sports in the regions.
Sergey Shishkarev called funding as one of the main problems of the Russian sports system. The President of the HFR suggested to resume discussions on the idea of a sports support fund, which consolidates budget and sports support funds and distributes them among sports, considering the successes in the international arena and the massiveness.
“I love both football and hockey, but if we stand for the development of sports in the regions, we must be consistent and provide state funding for various sports in accordance with the proposed criteria,” said Sergey Shishkarev. "The idea of such a fund was discussed at the presidential council on sports two years ago."
In his report, the head of the HFR named three ways of interaction between professional and mass sports, illustrating them with examples from handball.
The first is the interaction of the federation and its regional branches with local authorities and business. “This year, together with the Governor of the Omsk Region, Alexander Burakov, and his colleagues from the regional government, we reached a number of agreements on the future of the Skif handball club. On behalf of the federation, we laid a modern surface (Teraflex) on the cycle track, installed gates and a scoreboard - we got a venue of the European level. And Delo Group helped to increase funding for the club, which is now fighting on entering the OLIMPBET Super League, - said Shishkarev. - If the team succeeds, the contribution of both sponsors and the region will increase. We support this project because the entire sports vertical is working in the region: a professional club, an Olympic reserve school, children's and youth sports schools, the issue of opening a boarding school is being considered".
The second important area is increasing the mass character of sports. Handball in Russia is now practiced by about 45 thousand people, while in France and Germany - about a million. The way out is seen in the active involvement of young people in the section on the universal arenas, where the young athlete will be able to determine his preferences.
“Talking about infrastructure development, I am not only defending handball. For our sport, we need field 20 by 40 meters, but one can also play there mini-football, basketball, and volleyball, put tables for table tennis, - commented Sergey Shishkarev. - I call for interaction. Let's unite, attract the guys and girls to different sections, and then we will succeed”.
From a social point of view, this direction is the most important for society - it contributes to the involvement of children and youth in sports, and, as a result, the health of the nation. Good work is being done in the Rostov and Astrakhan regions, where the HFR, together with local federations, regional authorities, and such sponsors as the Rostselmash group, is implementing the Handball to School project. Handball sections are already being created, the competitions among them will be held on a regular basis within the School Handball League. Teachers will be able to take refresher courses. And from 2022, it is planned to hold an annual handball festival in the Rostov region. It is planned to cover 250 regional schools with this project, and by 2024 try to have a school sports club in each. The total number of young athletes who we plan to attract to the program should be up to 5 thousand people. Another recognized handball center of the country, Togliatti, is a good example, where the famous international handball festival in Togliatti is held annually, bringing together up to 1700 participants.
Another step in the development of sports in the regions, according to the President of the HFR, should be the building of a pyramid for the development of players from sports schools to professional clubs.
“There was a lot of discussion about the revival of the CSKA men's and women's clubs in Moscow. But both teams are already doing great. The women won the Russian championship last season and reached the Final Four of the Champions League,” - Sergey Shishkarev recalled. - But the main thing is the fact that in Moscow and the Moscow region, the entire vertical is working: children and youths, CSKA-2 and CSKA-3 teams for each of the clubs, UOR with a professional-level site. This approach will allow us to educate not just individual outstanding athletes, but entire generations of winners. "
The inclusion of handball in the school curriculum has a powerful effect on the development of sports in the country. However, it is not always possible to reach out to regional committees and ministries of education. This wall needs to be broken, and the local authorities should contribute to this, the president of the HFR is sure. Also, according to Sergey Shishkarev, during the construction of new and reconstruction of old sports grounds, it is advisable to bring them to the same standard, which allows you to engage in several team sports at once. This will not only give an impetus to their development, but also reduce the burden on regional budgets. In addition, to attract private funds to regional sports, it is necessary to increase the audience, encourage spectators to go to competitions with whole families. For this, it is necessary to build arenas where professional clubs can play and where you can create a cool television picture. Such an audience becomes interesting to sponsors and advertisers and, as a result, allows you to attract new money in the development of sports.