Modern academic sports system: institutional and management aspects

PhD, Associate Professor A.S. Fomina1
Dr.Sc.Hist., Professor I.M. Kornilova1
Postgraduate D.O. Chavkin1
1Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow

Keywords: physical education, physical culture, sports, sport system, sportization

Background. Every aspects of the physical education and sport service system design and operation at different universities deserves being studied to disseminate the best experiences and efficiently pursue the national goals in this area with the solutions based on the general theoretical and practical methods [1, 3,4]. Some aspects the modern physical education and sport service model may be found by analyses of the actual academic sporting experiences accumulated by specific [2, 8, 6] albeit further targeted studies are needed to analyze every aspect of the national academic physical education and sport service models with their designs and operations.

Objective of the study was to analyze the academic physical education and sport systems with their institutional and management models and practical mass sports advancement and physical education and sport assets accumulation and management experiences.

Methods and structure of the study. We assumed for the purposes of the study that an academic physical education and sport system from the viewpoint of the modern theory and practice may be described as a combination of physical education and sport service opportunities and provisions offered by the university environment and communities for the personality sporting progress agenda. The academic physical education and sport system/ environment includes the physical assets for the physical education and sport service (outdoor grounds, courts, equipment etc.) and the optional sport services for the students who may freely select the training sites, schedules and social sporting groups [4, p. 56-57]. The study data was complemented by the new information from archives of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (RUE), a largest national university of economics proud of its 112-years-long progress history. Analyzed for the study purposes were the archive documents of 2009 till now including minutes of the research councils, scientific reports and supporting materials for the management decisions of V.I. Grishin, its rector; university development programs; and the questioning surveys of the student communities run by the History and Philosophy Department.  

Results and discussion. The Plekhanov RUE’s physical education and sport / health/ healthy lifestyle cultivation service to the university faculty and students is spearheaded by the Plekhanov RUE’s Student Sport Club operating based on the Center Statute that sets forth its mission, goals, responsibilities, design and management provisions and provisions for its efficient cooperation with the other academic units and operations and the relevant national agencies and organizations.

The Student Sport Club was formally established in May 2010 with its core goals for the 9 years of operations being as follows: facilitate operations of the academic physical education and sport service system and cultivate healthy lifestyle; mass physical education, sport, health and entertainment events for the faculty and students; facilitate operations of the academic sport groups and progress of the academic picked teams; facilitate operations and media coverage of the Plekhanov KVN (Comics Club) League; create a variety of academic sport clubs (chess, football, ice hockey etc. clubs) to support the Center operations in specific physical education and sport service fields; and contribute to the academic physical education and sport service infrastructure development projects [9, 5]. The Student Sport Club is supported in the above activities by the Physical Education Department and other departments and units and partner universities.

The Student Sport Club mission, goals and responsibilities were set as required by the general concept of physical education and sport mission of the university, with the club operations having a free access to the university physical education and sport assets including the indoor facilities with the modern high-tech equipment. As of 2012, the university operated 5 sport gyms and was building a swimming pool. Presently Plekhanov RUE operates a 488 sq.m large swimming pool, a 513 sq.m large outdoor stadium with an obstacle course; 10 sport gyms 95 to 886 sq.m large. The sport gyms are readily available for body conditioning, martial arts, dancing, billiards, multisport, fitness and other sport groups. The Student Sport Club supported by the Physical Education Department gives a special priority to the health services to disabled and handicapped students, with every student having access to optional sport/ fitness/ health groups trained in a swimming pool, training gyms, fitness gym, physical conditioning gym, outdoor basketball court, billiards room etc. The inclusive physical education and sport service to the disabled and handicapped students is facilitated by a full-time psychologist [9, 7].

Success of the Plekhanov RUE’s physical education and sport services is verified, among other things, by the growth of the academic sport groups. The modest 18 sport groups of 2012 have grown to 13 academic picked teams including women/ men’s football and basketball, swimming, ice hockey, cheerleading, chess, ballroom dancing, table tennis, martial arts, track and field and sport orienteering teams; plus 20 sport groups (yoga, fitness aerobics, modern dancing, kickboxing, grappling etc.) enjoying services of the academic physical education and sport facilities [6, 10].

The modern academic physical education and sport service system offers a wide range of optional sports with choice of locations, schedules and groups. The physical education and sport group activities are facilitated by the mass sports/ health events and clubs under leadership of the Student Sports Club. The mass sporting events with their collectivistic spirit are complemented by the optional specific sports being developed by the Plekhanov RUE faculty and students. The growing physical education and sport assets made it possible for 2 years (from 2010 to 2012) for the sport group numbers to grow by 91% [9]. A questioning survey (300+ students) run by the History and Philosophy Department in 2018 showed that they mostly appreciate benefits of the academic sports for their health agendas. The survey profiled the academic sports, with 44.7% found to attend sport groups 2+ times a week; 44.2% reported training for at least 60-90min; and 56% reported joining the academic competitions [6]. About 90% of the sample reported indifference to habitual sports prior to the Plekhanov university, and the academic physical education and sport service and sporting environment reportedly encouraged 76% of the sample go in for sports in the optional sports groups dominated by the physical conditioning, aerobics and swimming groups as reported by the History and Philosophy Department archive materials.

Conclusion. Studies to analyze the the academic physical education and sport systems with their institutional and management models (clubs, centers, research laboratories) and practical mass sports advancement and physical education and sport assets accumulation and management experiences deserve being given a special priority by the national sport community.

References

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Corresponding author: antonina.fomina@gmail.com

Abstract

In the new millennium with its globalization and IT trends, sports are increasingly ranked among the most important and promising socializing tools for different social strata in Russia and the world over. The study analyzes the practical experience and success of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in building the modern academic sports system with a special attention to the institutional and management aspects of the physical education and sports service as illustrated by specific cases, including projects of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Student Sport Club; university sport infrastructure development projects; and optional sport services offered to the academic faculty and students. The study data and analyses give grounds to recommend the special physical education and sport service unit in charge of the governmental sports-prioritizing academic education projects being established to give a special priority to the physical education and sport service accessibility for the students and faculty; and to outline the most promising avenues for the academic physical education and sports service research in the context of the physical education service sportization policies and practices.