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Nikolai Tskhadaya "We are undisputed leaders in student sports"

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the need for the development of sports as a base for the sport of high achievements at the meeting with the winners of the Olympic Games in London. The great attention should be given to the high school sports. The most notable example of the Republic is Ukhta State Technical University, whose members achieve great results in many sports. We’ll talk about it with the USTU rector Nikolai Tskhadaya.

-Nikolai Denisovich, USTU becomes the center of the development of the high school sports in Komi Republic. Our newspaper has already reported that the players of BC "Planet University" appeared in Super League, then a women's hockey team is formed... How did you achieve such success?

- Ukhta State Technical University is one of the best universities in Russia in the field of physical education and sport. Sport as well as education must go through the whole student life. We develop more than forty kinds of sports; about 2500-3000 students take part in this process. Hardly any domestic institution is able to organize and develop so many kinds of sport: from women's hockey to jumping. We have almost all team sports: the volleyball, ice hockey, and basketball. There are both female and male teams.

We pay much attention to the sports development, also creating the facilities: we have a large sports complex. Now we added colleges to the university complex, for their students to get phased and vocational education (continue it at the university), and get athletic training. The engineer should be harmoniously developed person when he’ll finish the university. We achieved success in the development of physical culture and sports through a systematic approach. Apart from the fact that we organize the student sport, we pay great attention on the child sports development and create children's and youth sports school. Moreover, we opened the Institute of Physical Education on the base of our university.

Let me remind you, our mini-soccer team became the champion of the world among the students, our Alexander Sukhorukov won the "silver" medal of the Beijing Olympics, and our dance group "United Beat" is already a five-time champion of Russia in hip-hop, it had the Cup of Europe. They regularly participate in the world championships in modern dance.  This ensemble includes about 280 students and teenagers. I'm not talking about student sports ballroom dances, and we held the Russian Championships at the University every year. There are a lot of the titular sport activities that we held in our sports complex. Now we dream about our basin. By the way, the party "Edinaya Russia" promised to help with it.

- Recently there was the presentation of the new women's hockey team of Ukhta University. What is the purpose of its creation, and what the team will be like in the future?

- Yes, the third of September, we introduced to the public the female hockey team "Arctic University", which will play in the major league. This is the reserve, which we hope, will help our team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. This team was gathered on the basis of the one that was created by the Nikolai Lyu, and the best hockey player girls of Russia will play in it.

- If we talk about, the U.S., there is a whole system, a kind of pyramid: there is NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), which includes a large number of championships in various sports. The sport there is the real way to young people life. Being a successful athlete, they are able to obtain not only the way in professional sports, but a good free of charge education. Can we say that USTU becomes the training center of the professional athletes?

-Yes, we can. Because, for example, almost half of those guys who played here in the students' "Planet", will now represent the University at the level of the men's basketball championship Russian Super league. We are really a forge of the sports staff. Of course, the American system - is a standard, but we are already on the way to it, we take the example of the colleges and universities of the United States. For example, we have such vertical in basketball: YPCS, junior school, student and adult Super League. This is a whole incubator. Over the ocean, this flow is almost in all sports, and we have to aspire it.

-Do you think that in the near future we will be able to catch up with the Americans and to build such a system?

-That we have since the days of the Soviet Union: catching and distilled. I am sure that we will be able to build our system even better. And we’ll never have any results, if we only speak about it. We work on the development of the high school sports, and we are successful in it. In general, we actually change the idea of ​​what is a student. All students - without exception - must do sports. Quantitative change should go into quality.

-Do the good athletes have any benefits?

- Of course, we understand that the combination of sports and learning - is an incredible work. So - yes, these guys receive the social grants; there are all sorts of incentive measures for them. Of course, we encourage financially our best athletes.

- And how do you deal with CSE? If, say, there is a very good athlete entrant, but his passing score is low. What will you do in such a way?

- If a person does not go to a particular specialty for this reason, we’ll enlist him on the contract base.

-In an interview with the "Republic of" the coach of "Planet-University" Alexander Gutorov said that "Planet" can become a champion in the Super League. What prospects and future development of the club do you see?

- It would be foolish to stay there. Therefore we want our basketball players to get out at the highest level. Creating the preconditions for it, we want the students of "Planets" play worthy not only at the level of Russia, but also abroad. Of course, it couldn’t be done without the material support. We have some sponsors that help the "planet." These people are not indifferent, and basically they are our graduates. One of these people is Sergei Yegorov, the head of the "Arcticmorgeo." On the basis of this company we have created the female hockey team. I note that the budget of it is more then ten million rubles. In addition, Sergei Ilyich helped our main "Planet" to get two foreign players: Australian and American. Now we are waiting for their arrival.

- Can you call the names of these two basketball players?

- There is the procurement of visa; we expect that they will be the part of the team little later. Of course, I can not call their names until. I note only that the players have the high quality.

- How could you solve the problem with the financing of the club? The costs of participating in the Super League are much higher...

- You know, when somebody asked the question "how could we do it", there are people, offended by the fact that they have insufficient funding. We must work, and then there will be the result. We found a way out. Today the center of the students training sports which based on USTU is truly unique, because there are no Olympics in Komi, which we loose. As the rare exception, of course, there are some contingencies ... But in general, we are the undisputed leaders in collegiate sports.

- Tell us about the new project VTB League and Student Basketball Association (SBA) - United Student Super League.

- Our student team is a kind of farm club of the "Planets", under the same name; it has playing a long and successful in this league. However, up to the prior season the tournament was called the Student Basketball Association championship (SBA). We were paid for the travel and accommodation for four consecutive years. Our Ivan Ostrovsky in the last season was the best basketball championship of ASB. Rapidly developing, the Super League just likes American college leagues. Now in the Super League there will be the performing of Russian teams and the teams from neighboring countries: from the Baltic States, Kazakhstan, Belarus ... And, probably, it will still grow. The Games will start at the end of September.

- As far as I know, to participate in the Super League the club should have a team that plays in children and youth basketball league. Is it in Ukhta? How do you want to solve this problem?

- Yes, we need have a farm club, and the youth team. Our Ukhta basketball YPCS has been working for 20 years. However, we do not have the team member in the Junior League, and we plan to take the Syktyvkar team. I had a conversation with the Syktyvkar team coach Oleg Vítkov, and we have already had the prior agreement. In the near future we will solve the problem completely. Also we’ll solve the financing problem: we’ll pledge funds for the traveling and more. After all, the young basketball players of Syktyvkar for a long time did everything on their own, without any funding, and now we will take them under the wing.

- And how will you organize it? Will you take Syktyvkar team to Ukhta?

- No, it is not necessarily to take it. The team may be based in Syktyvkar, but we will strengthen it with the guys from our sports school. I think it will be a mutually beneficial cooperation between two cities.

- Sports facility "Burevestnik" hold only 500 spectators. Will everyone be able to attend the "Planet" games?

- Of course. We will have enough places. Now we're going to order the transformers, which will increase the platform up to a thousand places. There is an opportunity to expand it up to half thousand. In addition, we can hold basketball games at our hockey rink. Hockey court can accommodate two thousand spectators; it is the largest ice arena of Komi.

- As mentioned, the development of high school sports will be given attention at the highest level. Putin himself is planning to meet with the heads of university sports, team leaders and coaches in the near future, in the fall. If you were among the guests, then what would you ask the President about?

- I would like to pay the President's attention to the need to improve the sport material base of the universities. This is, after all, the federal property. It is necessary to have good hockey pitches with artificial ice, basketball courts, arenas for track ... We must begin with it. Otherwise all efforts will be in vain. It must be especially here in the north, where the winter is long and we need indoor arenas. For example, the West universities rarely don’t have the pool, good sports fields ... We have almost everything only on the pure enthusiasm. I can proudly say USTU has excellent sports material and technical base. I do not know which university still has the same. But I would like to make it even better.

We need to budget a certain amount for the development of university sports. And not everything has to be concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg; the growing point should be established in our country, in the north, and in Vladivostok, Siberia. And what is happening in the far north? People leave because there are no normal conditions. It is necessary to create these conditions, and then no one would go to the center. That’s why I associate the increased competition in the Ukhta State Technical University last summer. We become sport popular and young people see that here they can get not only professional education, but also to implement sporting ambitions.

Yaroslav Sevruk,
Photo by Dmitriy Napalkov