Neftekhimik sports club: ''People come home, and it is difficult to get them off the coach''

Neftekhimik sports club: ''People come home, and it is difficult to get them off the coach''
Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

By 2025, the number of Russians who lead a healthy lifestyle is planned to increase to 60% and the number of people doing sport regularly — up to 45%. The director of the sports club Neftekhimik, Sergey Klipachyov, notes that the demand for sports is growing from year to year. More and more people are switching to a healthy lifestyle and bringing their children to sports clubs. There is a boom in hockey, rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating. Why free sports club membership does not work out and how to make people get off the coach — read in the interview of Realnoe Vremya.

''Free sports club membership does not always can contribute''

Mr Klipachyov, could you tell us more about your sports club?

Our field of activity is quite wide. The main direction is the work with the staff of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, that is, people who work at the production. We are also engaged in children's sports – there are sections, there is the sport of records, and, of course, we work with residents who can buy a subscription to the pool or gym. Besides, we have children's sports camp Olimpiyets and traditional children's camp Yunost.

As for the work with Nizhnekamskneftekhim, how popular is sport among the employees?

Some say that people aren't engaged. It's not true. It is necessary to create the atmosphere, accessibility and give time to get used to. We are told a lot about Western models, it seems correct, but we live in another country. For example, fitness — if you give a person a free subscription, it may not always work out. People will come home, and it will be difficult to get them off the coach. They are unlikely to go to do sports because the subscription is free.

But if sports programmes are offered at the workplace — in the mode of the working day, within Spartakiads, competitions, sports holidays, it unites the working collective and instills a healthy lifestyle. Because if you have a football training tomorrow, you're unlikely to get drunk because you're playing tomorrow. That is why I am sure that it is necessary to be engaged in industrial sports. What is the impact? A healthy man comes to the workplace, and logic suggests that the productivity should be higher.

In total, 10,000-12,000employees of Nizhnekamskneftekhim are involved in sports competitions annually. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

How many people do sports regularly?

The enterprise employs about 15,000 workers, for whom every year we hold the Spartakiad. Last year, it was participated by 6,400 employees — this is quite a lot. In addition, each plant holds its own competitions — we provide platforms and help with instructors. In total, 10,000-12,000people are involved in sports competitions annually.

We cultivate 15 sports and we hold competitions in almost all of them. We also has sections for employees of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, where people do sports after work to achieve sports results, for example, they can get the title of Master of Sports. It is athletics, ski race, football, volleyball and wrestling. When we were opening wrestling, we thought that no one would go, but no – the gym was full.

Who can attend a training?

The coach has no right to refuse anyone, so any employee can come and start doing sports. For example, you can do athletics under the guidance of a professional coach. One girl came two years ago to lose weight, and now she is one of the most active athletes.

There are a lot of adults in athletics. One of the employees told that he was diagnosed preinfarction angina. He began to train – first he just walked, then began to run, now he runs almost 30 kilometres every day. The doctors looked at his cardiogram and said he was fine.

Some people think that it is expensive to go in for sports.

We have all sections for employees of Nizhnekamskneftekhim free of charge, and everyone can come. In addition, we provide all sports equipment at each plant. Almost all teams have their own form. In general, we provide with the all sports equipment. If only people had the desire to do sports.

You have said that it is quite difficult to get Russian people off the couch. In this case, it is probably very difficult to involve employees to do sports.

If the employee has just recently got a job, every director of the plant asks what he did at institute or at school. There are not so many people who have never done sports. Well, then the collective plays a big role — if a person has talents for sports, he or she will participate in the games together with the team. First he or she will come and watch, and then will come on the field, and they gradually start to train. The team is important. There is no other way.

Neftekhimik sports club cultivate 15 sports. Photo:

On what bases are the trainings held?

Our main complex is Druzhba. There is a swimming pool, football pitch, track and field stadium. Besides, there are two ice palaces, the sports complex Neftekhimik, the gym Fakel, the ski base Almash, a shooting gallery, an outside base of the hockey team Neftekhimik. There are 10 complexes in total together with the camps Yunost and Olimpiets.

The first test centre in Nizhnekamsk to take GTO standards

What is the situation at your enterprise with taking GTO standards (''Ready for Labor and Defense'' standards from Russian – editor's note)?

The standards are passed, maybe not as active as wished it to be. We are the first testing centre in Nizhnekamsk to take GTO norms. We specifically set ourselves such a goal that employees of NKNH did not have to go to another city to pass the standards. Everyone wishing can take them here. Let's say you arrived in Nizhnekamsk for work and decided to pass the standard. You can do it at our centre, they have no right to refuse to you. You pass the standard, and the result is registered in your personal card on the GTO website. You go to your personal account and see all the results.

The employees of the company pass the standards voluntarily or mandatory?

We never aimed to do it mandatory, it is antiadvertising. Besides, it does not make sense to carry out a special examination. For example, we hold a swimming championship. The distance and the pool meet the requirements, the person passes, and we register the result in the standard of GTO complex. The same situation is for ski race.

Spartan conditions in the camp Olimpiets

What are your plans for summer camps?

The camp Yunost is year-round, that is, children come in school break seasons as well. We had a spring camp, 75 children came. In the summer we will have four shifts of 460 children.

In Olimpiets, we are planning three shifts for 220 children each. Each shift of seven sports.

In Olimpiets, we are planning three shifts for 220 children each. Photo:

In Olimpiets, children live in Spartan conditions, but the camp is very popular. What is reason for such phenomenon?

I do not see a phenomenon here. First of all, this place is, so to say, worshipful. In 1973, I went into sports and stopped by in Olimpiets. There were tents, there were no even normal washbasins. But I liked it so much!

Athletes come there, and what is important for them? The food and the opportunity to train. Here the person actively do sports the whole day, he has a good trainer, interesting events in the evenings, normal food, plus a sauna with a swimming pool. I assure you, if we take down the corps tomorrow and say, ''Come!'', they will come and bring tents or make houses by themselves. The second important point — it is prestigious to go to Olimpiets because the chosen go there. There are athletes who win Russian championships.

So the competition is high?

I think if we take the number of people willing, only about half of them go to the camp. But many do not apply because they know that we will be refused. We have no places, everything is already scheduled.

''After the film Ice about figure skating, the phone of our coach keeps ringing''

As for children's sports, what areas are in most demand today?

We are actively engaged in hockey. If we build another ice palace and recruit coaches, it will be maxed up. We have rhythmic gymnastics coaches, and there are so many people willing to do that they just can't accept everyone. You know, what's the problem — it is difficult to find a lathe operator or apparatchik, but a coach — impossible. We have six rhythmic gymnastics coaches, we taught these girls ourselves, they are our pupils.

In the autumn, figure skating was opened – there is only one coach, and those wishing are much more than he can accept. Swimming section is full, children's sports school in ski racing has been a leader in the country for many years. Free-style wrestling, table tennis are popular.

Now sport is in great demand. People who became parents began to understand that it is fashionable to be healthy, that is why they do it themselves and bring their children to sports clubs.

Table tennis is one of the popular sports. Photo:

In other words, sport becomes more popular from year to year?

Parents today are becoming different. Older people remember the 1990s when salaries were withheld all over the country. What sport could be there? Now the mindset has changed, the person knows that he will get money and can make plans.

That time there were free trainings, and now they are paid, but in spite of this, we do not lack people even in sport such as athletics.

Besides, the Olympiad has been held, our skiers performed well. We have started to get more calls, people want to do skiing.

Now there are many Russian films about sports. Does it influence on the demand for sports clubs?

Yes, that's true. For example, after the film Ice about figure skating. The phone of our coach kept ringing. The popularity of figure skating has been also affected by Ice Age. Of course, I don't understand the series The Junior Team, but tickets to our hockey games are always sold out.

We have held an international tournament with Alina Kabayeva four times in Nizhnekamsk. Hs it affected the popularity of rhythmic gymnastics? Certainly!

In the autumn, we opened the figure skating section. Photo:

What new sections are you planning to open?

For the time being it is enough what we have. We are limited by the possibilities of sports facilities, we can increase the number of coaches in rhythmic gymnastics, but this requires a special room. We train in Druzhba, there are sections of gymnastics, and then we turn carpets and we play basketball. We can increase the number of figure skating trainings, but so far we have no specialists. If we raised our coaches in rhythmic gymnastics, we have problems in figure skating, we need 4-5 coaches and 7-8 years to prepare them.

I have never been a big supporter of inviting a coach. I always say that you should look at your pupils. There are athletes who want to train, but for various reasons they cannot become professional athletes. Let's send him to study, and then take them to work as coaches! We should prepare our own specialists.

We can't give up athletics and ski racing. We have enough hockey, we master all age groups, the problem is only with ice. I think that the way to increase the availability of sports in the city is the development of yard movement.

By Ksenia Zharkova