Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism: 40 Years is Just the Beginning


Yu.D. Yakubov, associate professor, Ph.D.
Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, Kazan


Keywords: Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, history of Volga Region Academy, federal experimental platform, integration, educational process, sports training, scientific and educational cluster.

Three periods of activity of the federal educational institution of higher professional education currently named Volga Region Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism are stipulated by the global historical changes in the life of the country. In 1974, owing to the achievements of Soviet athletes from the Volga region at international competitions, the Kazan branch of Volgograd Institute of Physical Culture and Sport was opened. In 1986, the university “moved” to the homeland of “KAMAZ” (heavy-truck manufacturer) - Naberezhnye Chelny - and became one of the leading centers of sports education in the region. The renewed Academy returned to the capital of Tatarstan in 2010 when the preparation for XXVII World Summer Student Games in Kazan, a triumphant world-wide sports event, was in process.

The first generation of teachers of the Academy had an interesting destiny to become tradition creators and witnesses of the university formation. Among those whose names have gone down in history are highly educated and distinctive innovative educators such as: O.A. Novak (the first director of the branch of the Institute), Z.V. Urazaeva, A.B. Mayskiy, E.Kh. Galeev, V.I. Togulev, V.K. Chervyakov, E.I. Aukhadeev, N.V. Tsyganova, G.V. Tsyganov, N.P. Moiseeva, G.V. Verbitsky, R. Zaynutdinov, L.A. Abolin, A.A. Chernyaev, B.M. Ivanov and Yu.P. Denisenko.

The talented athletes from among the students of that period  - Honored Masters of Sports Firaya Sultanova and Giana Romanova (track and field athletics), International Masters of Sport Gennady Maslov (hockey), Ludmila Aver’yanova and Aleksey Zakharov (rowing), Rashid Khannanov (skiing) and others.

The constellation of directors of the Kazan branch includes such honored people and highly skilled professionals as: professor, Dr.Med. E. I. Auhadeev (1986-1988); Ph.D. N.P. Moiseev (1988-1989); Ph.D., Honored Worker of Physical Culture of Russia G.V. Tsyganov (1989-1999) whose tireless organizing activity led to the conversion of the branch into Kama State Institute of Physical Culture in 1997, which became an independent university. In 1999, Doctor of Biological Sciences, professor A.S. Chinkin was elected as a rector of the Institute. During perestroika, the difficult period for the country when the level of funding for the education sector had declined sharply and the market reforms had led to a crisis in the system of public education, he introduced a postgraduate course and expanded the admission of students on a fee-paying basis.

It was when the university was headed by professor, Dr.Hab. A.S. Kuznetsov (2005-2010) the pedagogical and psychological training of students was started in addition to sports and tourism, the Dissertation Council was opened. Moreover, the journal named “Pedagogiko-psihologicheskie i mediko-biologicheskie problemy fizicheskoy kultury i sporta” (“Pedagogical, psychological and medicobiological issues of physical culture and sport”) was started publishing in the university, which was a peer reviewed publication included in the list of the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles of the Russian Federation. Now promising pupils could study in the college of physical culture and sport. After the successful state certification in 2008, the Institute received the accreditation status of “academy”.

During this time, the university was glorified by sports achievements of hockey players Sergey Abramov and Aleksey Chupin, football players Platon Zaharchuk and Robert Evdokimov, basketball players Anna Mamay and Victoria Plotnikova, gymnasts Radik Nizamutdinov and Leysira Gabdrakhmanova, acrobats Guzel Hasanova and Alena Ploskova, wrestlers Andrey Saenko and Airat Gilaev, skaters, Honored Masters of Sports Victoria Chikova and Svetlana Efimova. And what deserves special attention is the current Olympic record in women's 3000 meters steeplechase (Beijing, 2008) of Gulnara Galkina-Samitova.

The current stage of development of the Academy began with the Russia's victory in the bid campaign to host the XXVII World Summer Student Games and with the approval of the Concept of Universiade heritage of 2013 by the Government of the Russian Federation. The one of its key objectives was to establish Volga Region Academy of Sport and Tourism - the educational area of a new type. After the upgrade of the material and technical base (including 7 high-tech sports facilities, modern teaching and laboratory building and a residential campus in the Universiade Village) the Academy returned to Kazan with a new mission: to unite achievements in sport science and latest educational technologies for the benefit of the Russian sport and to become one of the industry leaders in training specialists in the sphere of physical culture, sports and tourism. The university along with the region itself often becomes a pilot area for the implementation of various national and international projects in the field of sport and physical culture education.

The implemented three years ago “Moodle” platform based portal for e-learning has become one of the system know-how in Volga Region Academy of Sport and Tourism. This open-source e-learning environment for all students of the Academy is a reliable aid for those who are in training camps and competitions most of the academic year. Thanks to the system one can study and take examinations at his convenience from anywhere in the world.

Since 2011 fundamental and applied researches, medicobiological, scientific and methodological support for the training of Russian and Tatarstan national teams as well as consulting provided for university departments are the functions of the Academy Educational and Scientific Centre. As part of its activities, the Centre practices sports reserve training technologies. The studies of its employees are being actively published in leading international journals. The main areas of study in the Centre are: sports biochemistry and genetics, morphology and dietetics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology.

In 2012, Volga Region Academy in collaboration with the International Association of Sports Universities became the founder of the new scientific and theoretical journal “Nauka i sport: sovremennye tendentsii” (“Science and Sport: current trends”) which successfully copes with its main task of the exchange of ideas, research and analysis of various aspects of the world sports science.

In 2013, in the framework of the structural unit of the Academy - FISU International Education Centre - the Universiade Museum was opened in the teaching and laboratory building of the university under the aegis of this influential international organization. More than 15 thousand people visited it.

The new academic year brings the testing of another complex system that contains a wide range of different e-services. The electronic student ID card in the form of a MasterCard credit card will enable students to monitor their attendance and progress on-line and use the library resources after the full implementation of the system. The card will also serve as a pass to the Academy buildings, a ticket in public transport and the students will be able to take advantage of discounts based on the ISIC (International Student Identity Card) program, etc. The Academy has the infomats with built-in card readers for quick access to the portal services.

The university practice of organizing and conducting large-scale international and national research activities is being expanded every year. The completed projects include the FISU International Scientific Conference “University and Olympic sport: two models - one goal?” (June 14-17, 2013, within the framework of the XXVII World Summer Universiade of 2013 in Kazan). The participants represented 100 countries.

In 2014, a project of the International Summer Research School for representatives of the youth scientific community from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan was implemented for the first time. The School work can be regarded as a stage of preparation for the International Conference of Young Scientists of Sports Universities to be held at the Academy in 2015.

Volga Region Academy is carefully building a system of continuing education which guarantees its quality. The continuity of admission is provided by a scientific and educational cluster which consists of a head university, its branch and four educational institutions of secondary vocational education. The total number of students is more than 3,500 people. The cluster provides organizational, legal and educational activities, as well as research, vocational guidance and personnel management in all the educational institutions.

Joining the ranks of the members of the International Association of Universities of Physical Culture and Sport and the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education has greatly expanded the scope of international cooperation. The Academy has become a partner for 11 foreign universities in three years, including: University of Tartu (Estonia), Capital University of Physical Education and Sports (China), University of Central Lancashire (Great Britain), University of Novi Sad (Serbia), University of Georgia (USA) etc. Currently the students of the Academy are from 38 regions of Russia and 7 foreign countries. 

In 2013, the formation of the sports infrastructure of the university was completed. Two objects - the Centre of Rowing Sports and the Gymnastics Centre - obtained the status of federal training centers from the Ministry of Sports of Russia. Sports facilities are being constructed with the direct participation of the leaders of Russian federations of tennis, gymnastics and rowing sports. The number of competitions and training sessions conducted on the basis of Volga Region Academy facilities with the participation of national teams of various ages and the representatives of foreign sports clubs proves the increasing need for Academy facilities. In addition, these facilities are being used by four municipal youth sports schools and for health-improving activities for the population.

The achievements of the students of the Academy contribute to the improvement of its sports reputation. The 18 of 19 students who participated in the XXVII World Summer Universiade of 2013 in Kazan became winners or prize-winners. Currently, 34 students of the Academy are the members of Russian national teams, 66 athletes are engaged in training with the national teams as candidates, 139 students are the members of national teams of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Volga Region Academy is deservedly proud of its students and postgraduates. Among them are three Honored Masters of Sports of Russia - Olympic champion, track and field athlete Yulia Zaripova (London, 2012); Olympic bronze medalist, track and field athlete Tatyana Arkhipova (London, 2012); winner of the World Cup in rhythmic gymnastics, champion of the XXVII World Summer Universiade 2013 in group exercises Elena Romanchenko; 22 world-class athletes including world champions, rowers Rasul Ishmukhamedov, Kirill Shamshurin and wrestler Gabdyzhalil Suleymanov.

Owing to the dynamic development of the university in Kazan and a number of initiatives Volga Region Academy of Sport and Tourism has become the only federal experimental platform for the integration of scientific and educational process and sports training for future replication of this experience across the country.

Conclusion. Summing up the results of the 40-year period of existence of the academy, we can say that thanks to the establishment of the Academy the industry was provided with highly skilled specialists, many talented athletes and coaches have been trained whose names forever have gone down in the history of the world sport. The established over the years unique traditions in the organization of the learning process, sports training and research provided for the rapid development of the academy on the new stage. The number of students of the academy in Kazan exceeded 1,500 persons in 2014.

In the today's environment of the development of the city and the region, the Academy has all the prerequisites to become the basic element of a variety of innovative processes in the field of education, physical culture, sport and tourism in Russia. All in all, its 40th anniversary is just the beginning for Volga Region Academy...


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The article deals with periods of activity of Volga Region Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism at different stages of its development. Currently the Academy's mission is to integrate advanced technologies in sports science, educational and information technologies within a single university federal experimental platform of the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation. This is facilitated by the integrated innovative approach in the organization of the educational process, holding of large-scale sports and scientific events at the university facilities, students' outstanding performance in international and national competitions and the focus on the international cooperation.


Corresponding author: zfr-nauka@mail.ru