National Athlete Day is a holiday which is celebrated in our country since 1993, and which is welcomed by thousands of Russians. This is a celebration of everyone who loves sport – their profession or age does not matter. About the history of this holiday, about where students and academic staff of South Ural State University are going to celebrate it, how much sport and science are compatible, and which personal qualities are formed by physical education, told us the Director of the SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service Vadim Erlikh.
– Vadim Viktorovich, how popular is the Athlete Day today?
– Let us start from the concept of physical education which originated back in the 19th century in England. In our country, this holiday became widely popular in the first decade of the Soviet regime,in 1920 – 1930s, when a motto borrowed from Juvenal was enrooted: “A healthy mind in a healthy body!” Back then were established the Moscow proletarian sports society "Dinamo" as an organization providing opportunity for exercising sport to all employees of security and public order services, and then the All Union Voluntary Sports Society of workers of state trade and cooperations “Spartak” which played an important role in the history of the whole Soviet sports. Sport started developing rapidly, and athletes became the most popular people in the country. Universities and institutes started establishing faculties of physical education, followed by whole educational institutions which trained future athletes. In 1918, the Institute of Physical culture was established in Moscow, and almost simultaneously in Saint Petersburg was established the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education and Sport, named after P.F. Lesgaft who was a founder of the Theory of physical education, an anatomist and a doctor.
None of celebratory demonstrations could manage without athletes, gymnasts and other representatives of sport. The Athlete Day itself was also celebrated massively: there were demonstrations, parades, competitions, the Ready for Labor and Defense tests. In time, the Athlete Day underwent some transformations, but nowadays the concept of the holiday is the same – promotion of healthy lifestyle, establishing the every-day habit to exercise sports, because physical culture has long ago become a part of our common culture. It signifies moral upbringing, strength of mind and character.
– How is the Athlete Day traditionally celebrated at SUSU?
– To celebrate this interesting mass event in Chelyabinsk, around 5-6 thousand of people, the representatives of the majority of educational and sport institutions of the city, students, lecturers and those who lead healthy lifestyle, will gather on the grounds of the Track and Field Complex named after Y.Yelesina. Undoubtedly, the SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service will be present full-squad along with the Physical Education and Sports Club (FSK SUSU) which embraces the whole university ( in the majority of institutes and higher schools there are students who already has the titles of Master or Candidate Master of Sports). Traditionally there will be competitions in different types of physical culture: for strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, and of course there will be the Ready for Labor and Defense tests. I would like to note that nowadays completing the Ready for Labor and Defense tests and receiving a golden badge is much easier than in the USSR. The requirements are less strict, and a candidate’ age and training orientation are considered. This mark of distinction gives the opportunity to prove oneself, to test one’s abilities; for university applicants it gives 10 additional points for their enrollment at a university, including ours. From my point of view, people who are related with physical culture are slightly different: they are more organized, disciplined and successful. Sport helps us to be more dynamic in life and quicker make important decisions.
– Nowadays healthy way of life is trending. Have you noticed an influx of prospective students who would like to entwine their future profession with sport?
– This year’s enrollment campaign, just like all the previous years’, is distinguished by its stability. We have high competition for the “Physical culture” specialization. And it has nothing to do with popularity of sport and healthy way of life. We start working with prospect students on their professional orientation immediately after finishing another enrollment campaign. Our Institute is known for its discipline and order. From the first year of study I explain to students what they should do for successful studying and what is going to happen if their attitude towards studying is negligent, therefore during their first year of study the results are mainly good and excellent. What about modern trends… I would say that the period when being into physical education and sport is fashionable has already gone; sport is not fashionable anymore, it’s necessary. Starting from applying for a job, a yesterday’s graduate is “judged how nice” which means assessing how healthy and physically developed he is, if he has got enthusiasm in his eyes, how much he is organized and stress-resistant. I can proudly note that today functional condition of a SUSU student improved in 30-40% compared to previous 3-4 years.
– How are science and sport interrelated?
– Today they are inseparable concepts. What is sport? It is a way for achieving goals and objectives set by an athlete and his coach. These are results that need to be achieved. Nowadays a man neared the limit of his possibilities, so in regard we study organism’s reserves, which are sufficient. This aspect is related to fundamental scientific research of the Institute. What about applied research and their implementation, we have got an innovative approach to this issue. In order to obtain indicators of functional state of an athlete remotely during all training periods, a non-invasive ECG T-shirt was developed. Using this development, we can remotely obtain data about cardiovascular system’s functioning in online mode, and correct the workout process in situ. This invention has been patented. The ECG T-shirt is constantly improving.
Another one of our innovative scientific developments is physiosteps (correcting insoles) which allow correcting biomechanics of a step while walking or running. Research showed that using the insoles can alleviate symptoms or even cure many musculoskeletal system diseases. Soon the physiosteps will be substantially improved, sensors of central pressure, body composition, etc. will be implanted in the insoles. The insoles are available for everybody in our small innovative enterprise “Istis-Med” in Chelyabinsk, and also in 20 branches in cities of Russia.
Also, another important aspect of sport science is recovery. And we are not treading water! Techniques for recovery processes and rehabilitation using mechatronic devices of upper and lower limbs with feedback have been developed. There is an interesting tendency in virtual sport – psycho physiological influence on central nervous system with an extension to the locomotor apparatus. Here we have got interesting results: excitement, psychological boost, velocity, endurance, recoverability and relaxation.
– How interested are the ISTS graduates in proceeding their scientific activity?
– I adduce numbers: nowadays the SUSU’s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service has trained about three doctors of biological sciences and one doctor of pedagogic sciences who have already defended their doctoral dissertations; about 7 candidates are planning on defending in the nearest future; there are no vacant spots for postgraduate studies. In 2018 we are facing the task to pay even more attention to research activity with master’s degree students and postgraduates. On the agenda is the question about creating on the grounds of the SUSU’ s Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service a dissertation council on the following majors: physiology, biochemistry, psychophysiology, and immunology.