Specialist training for national physical education and sport sector: history and modern experience


Dr.Hab., Professor E.N. Gerasimova1
PhD, Associate Professor A.A. Shakhov1
1Yelets State Ivan Bunin University, Yelets


Keywords: Yelets, physical education and sports, vocational education, history, Yelets State Ivan Bunin University.


Background. In 2018 Yelets State Ivan Bunin University comes to the fifteen anniversary of its Sport Department and has every reason to state that this educational institution since then has played a leading role in the physical education and sports sector growth in the Lipetsk region and far beyond.

Objective of the study was to make a historical analysis of the regional physical education and sports sector progress in the context of the physical education specialist training service at Yelets State Ivan Bunin University. 

Study findings and discussion. Since the first days of its foundation back in 1939, the former Yelets Teachers’ Training Institute (now Yelets State Ivan Bunin University, YSIBU) has given a top priority to the students’ physical education. The University was on the fast progress path in the pre-war and war times in every education discipline including the physical education and sport (PES) specialist training service with its advanced curriculum and institutional provisions. The physical education staff was formally contacted by the Pedagogics and Psychology department in the numbers varying from 1 to 3 in the first years of its operations, with I.F. Fomin, I.U. Efanov and V.V. Palchikov et al. being among the first. All of them were the Great Patriotic War veterans and renowned athletes, and this was the reason for them to design and manage the physical education process on the combat skills prioritizing basis.

In the period of 1954 through 1960, the PES service at the University was headed by M.A. Gubkin who made a special emphasis on the sport service and infrastructure advancement initiatives. With the further progress of the establishment (renamed to Yelets State University in 1953), the service range and student population was on the rise, with the new PES service design and management models implemented for the YSU students and faculty. To meet the service expansion needs, the Physical Education Department was established in the University in 1965 that was headed by B.Y. Bolgov, senior educator and highly skilled and experienced physical education specialist who had been serving in the top management position for more than 20 years [1]. The Physical Education Department faculty had grown up in the period of 1969 to 1990 from 6 to 14 people.

In the 1960-1970s the Physical Education Department gave a special priority to the training services to qualified academic athletes, GTO badge winners, referees and volunteer sport instructors. In addition to the traditional academic sports, the Physical Education Department had implemented rifle shooting, weightlifting, skating, ice hockey, bandy, badminton, and tourism courses for the period. Presently the University takes efforts to expand its sport facilities: thus a gym is constructed in one of the buildings, plus a fitness room and shooting gallery on the ground floor [2].

In the period of 1986 to 2014, the Physical Education Department was managed by Y.A. Musatov who made a valuable contribution to the academic PES service progress. In 1991, despite the difficult socio-economic situation in the country, the University management put in operation a health and physical training center including the 800m2 large training gym, special training halls and health station with the relevant service offices – to improve the physical education and sport service quality, encourage and expand the range of the academic competitions and step up their management standards.

In the 1990s, A.I. Prokofyev, A.N. Starkin, A.M. Trofimov, V.V. Semyannikova, the Physical Education Department staff members, defended their PhD theses to further advance the theoretical and practical provisions for the academic PES service and improve the education specialist training for the national PES sector. Thus the academic Physical Education discipline was introduced at the Philological Department.

In 2000 YSU was renamed to Yelets State Ivan Bunin University (YSIBU), with further progress of the University in many aspects laying a foundation for the Sport Department being established in 2003 and soon (in 2014) reformed into the Physical Education, Sports and Life Safety Institute (PESLSI). Presently PESLSI includes Physical Education; Sport Disciplines; and Life Safety and Health Knowledge Basics departments to provide a full range of PES specialist training services i.e. the secondary vocational training, bachelor, master and post-graduate ones.

The sport assets owned by PESLSI are dominated by two physical training and health centers (one of them listed with the All-Russian Register of Sport Assets), two gym rooms, wrestling gym, fitness room, physical therapy room, track and field hall, table tennis venue, athletic gymnastics gym, ski base, football field, obstacle track, a few GTO Complex test grounds, rural sport center etc. The list of the academic sports offered by the University includes volleyball, basketball, football, kettlebell lifting, tennis, table tennis, tourism, martial arts (sambo, judo, hand-to-hand fight etc.), fitness aerobics, badminton, track and field sports, swimming, chess, Russian lapta etc.

The faculty takes persistent efforts to complement the traditional PES service formats, methods and tools with new models and offer, on a systemic basis, master classes of the leading PES experts and athletes in different sport disciplines and modern physical training and health technologies including table tennis, sambo, judo, weightlifting, kettlebell lifting, stretching, tourism, sport massage, Hatha yoga etc. In the period of 2015 to 2017, the PESLSI students and faculty have designed and implemented, with support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, a few national health projects including GTO Days, GTO Students and GTO Trophy Projects.

The University hosts, on a yearly basis, national theoretical and practical research conferences and contests for the best study report on physical education, sports and life safety issues with participation of national and foreign researchers. It has become traditional for the University to host a variety of round-table discussions on the topical issues of the national PES sector progress including adaptive sports, doping control systems etc.

The University faculty has published more than 300 study reports on the PES issues including 10 monographs, about 50 textbooks and practical guidelines. The University students compete on a permanent basis and win prizes in many national and international academic competitions including National Student Sport Festivals; national University Sport Games; championships of the Russian Student Sports Union, student sport (football, basketball and volleyball) federations and leagues; and national Adaptive Student Sport Games.

Yelets State Ivan Bunin University has trained more than 1000 PES specialists most of whom have been employed by the Lipetsk regional and other Russian PES sector institutions. 

Conclusion. The study data and analysis give grounds to state that Yelets State Ivan Bunin University has evolved into a leading center of the multiannual physical education and sport specialist training service in the Lipetsk region.



  1. K vershinam obrazovaniya. Eletskomu VUZu – 70 let [To the upper limits of education. 70th anniversary of Yelets State University]. Yelets: Bunin YSU publ., 2009, 259 p.

  2. Kartseva E.I., Shakhov A.A. Istoriya razvitiya fizicheskoy kultury i sporta v Eletskom gosudarstvennom vuze: Eletskom gosudarstvennom uchitelskom institute, EGPI, EGU im. I.A. Bunina [The history of development of physical education and sports in Yelets State University: Yelets State Teachers' Institute, YSPI, Bunin YSU]. Sbornik nauchnykh trudov Vseros. nauch.-prakt. konf. 'Sovremennye tekhnologii fizicheskogo vospitaniya i sporta v praktike deyatelnosti fizkulturno-sportivnykh organizatsiy' i Vseros. konkursa nauchnykh rabot v oblasti fizicheskoy kultury, sporta i bezopasnosti zhiznedeyatelnosti [Proc. nat. res.-practical conf. 'Modern physical education and sports technologies in practice of physical education and sports organizations' and Nat. contest of scientific works in physical education, sports and life safety]. April 13 2017; A.A. Shakhov [ed.]. Yelets: Bunin YSU publ., 2017, pp. 133-144.

  3. Shakhov A.A. Sportivnomu fakultetu EGU im. I.A. Bunina – desyat let (fotoletopis) [10th anniversary of Bunin ESU Sports faculty: photo chronicle]. Yelets: Bunin YSU publ., 2013, 84 p.: il.


Corresponding author: shakhov-art@yandex.ru



The town of Yelets is proud of its great sport traditions and plentiful local sport celebrities including A. Petrov, one of the first Russian Olympians (French wrestling) who won a silver medal in the 1908 Olympic Games. It has taken many years for the Yelets government to build up an efficient and effective athletic training services supported by own academic physical education center. This centralized service has been raised for fifteen years since the Sport Department was established at Yelets State Ivan Bunin University. Services of the new educational center have been so effective that it has met the demand for the highly competent and skilled physical education and sport specialists in the town and Lipetsk region with the University taking the lead in sport research, education and training in the region. Applied for the study purposes were the archive materials, sport periodicals, study reports and memoirs of the sport activists and analysts to analyze the historical progress and present situation with the physical education and sport specialist training services at the University.