Please enable the use of cookies for a more efficient website experience.

Igor Artemyev: Snow rugby would have graced the Winter Olympics program

28 January 2023
Igor Artemyev: Snow rugby would have graced the Winter Olympics program
Director of the Nonprofit Partnership Center for the Promotion of Beach Sports headed the working group on the development of beach rugby and snow rugby. At the Supreme Council of the Russian Rugby Federation Ilya Volodarsky told about the plans of this working group. 

- We would like to gradually move towards the recognition that snow and beach rugby are full-fledged sports. It would be necessary to prepare players for these sports in a special way. They can be different athletes as well. Special rugby departments will be opened at sports schools, - Igor Artemyev, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Rugby Federation, said.

- In accordance with the decision of the previous Supreme Board of the WRF we were tasked to create a working group. I hope that we can get back to the international agenda. International contacts on the informal level are maintained. Taking into account the vector to the Asian markets, we can consider this issue as well. The main goals and objectives of the working group on development of these disciplines are supposed to be setting targets for beach rugby and snow rugby. Short term - 2024, medium term - 2027 and long term - 2030. The basic direction will be the development and strengthening of the club system in rugby-5, including among existing rugby clubs. The main basic activity will be to increase the level of the championship and the Cup of Russia in rugby-5, taking it to a new level. Competitions must be included in the unified calendar plan, - said Ilya Volodarskiy.

In connection with the transfer of beach and snow rugby into separate disciplines, it is proposed to extend the season so that athletes and clubs have an all-season competition system. From May to October it is planned to extend the season in beach rugby, from December to April - in snow rugby. Together with the CPS, there are plans to synchronize the calendars for beach and snow rugby with the schedules for the Rugby Sevens and Rugby-15 tournaments as much as possible. The time has come to hold youth competitions in these disciplines as well.

- We would like to include rugby on snow and beach rugby in the Spartakiad of the strongest athletes, subject to the inclusion of these sports in the Winter Olympics program. I would like to propose the construction of new sports facilities for rugby, beach and snow, it's worth laying projects in advance - a sandy area, it will also help the classical disciplines in the period of preparation, recovery, as well as by involving friendly beach disciplines, - said Volodarskiy. 

- There's only one team sport in the Winter Olympics now - ice hockey. If there was rugby on snow, it would just brighten up the Olympics. The other sports I can't imagine are winter volleyball, handball or soccer. This theme has developed in Europe among the alpine countries. I would like just now, when we are in the off-season in the international situation, to ask the working group that they solve all the issues with our Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Sports. They have to be ardent supporters of inclusion in the Olympics. They should understand that it is necessary, and in the end we must have an official desire of the Russian Federation at all levels to consider these disciplines as Olympic, - said Igor Artemyev. 

In addition, Igor Artemyev said that we should work actively with European countries, where these areas are popular. 

- We still have huge opportunities for promotion at the international level. We need to activate the Italians. We need to see who are the allies and who are the opponents of this story. Argentina, the Alpine countries are a great option for us. I would explain to the Italians in this way: become the founders of a new Olympic sport, do it yourselves. We have to convince them of that. If they want us to be their allies, fine. If they don't want to do it, do it yourself. Pull Germany, France. And one more aspect - I would like to see beach rugby played on Russian beaches. So that people would talk about it, so that anyone could come in and play, just like in volleyball, Artemyev added.