27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Presentation of GTO Complex distinction badges took place during "Russia – a Sports Power" Forum

In the first day of the forum "Russia – a Sports Power", the Executive Directorate for Sports Projects presented GTO Complex distinction badges. The presentation was opened by Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Mutko.

- The complex is becoming a basis for standards. It's kind of a testing complex developed to assess the level of fitness by 11 age groups. Today we entitled our regions to add 2-3 tests based on their traditions, national specificities, and popularity of different sports in constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The complex was introduced on September 1 this year. 12 regions of the country were selected for a pilot but this does not stem the tide for other regions.

'In the implementation of this project,' said Minister, 'it is important to adhere to informal approach so that young people are really excited about passing the tests. We must do everything to convince our population that sports have positive impact on quality of life.'

Over its whole 83 years history distinction badges changed many times and looked differently from 1931 to 1988. But one thing never changed – every citizen of our country aged 6 and older was striving to get one of those badges.

The present-day badge also has its history. For the whole time about 50 different variants of the badge were submitted by Russians, but only 3 best of them got to the final. Variant proposed by artist Ekaterina Soboleva (Moscow) won most votes by popular voting and became the overall winner.

After some refinement the draft was turned into an official badge of All-Russian Physical Training and Sports Complex, titled 'Ready for Labour and Defence (GTO)'. It was also approved by the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation on August 19.

The distinction badge of the GTO Complex is designed as a multiple point star representing adherence to the best traditions of physical culture movement in our country. In the centre of the badge there is a running athlete against the rising sun as a symbol of revival, peace, and prosperity. He is neither starting, nor finishing – he is running which embodies the physical culture principle 'Life in motion'.

To distinguish grades of the badge, three metal colours are used (which is common in sports): golden, silver, and bronze. At the same time, a digit at the bottom of the badge represents a level of the GTO Complex.

Within the presentation of the GTO badge, a project 'GTO Ambassadors' was started which is aimed to use informational and educational activities of famous sportsmen, leading politicians, and public figures for promoting healthy life style and systematic sport activities as a fashion and a norm for Russians. The first ambassadors were chosen among sportsmen who made the Russian Federation famous in the international sport arena:

- Honoured Master of Sports (synchronised swimming), three times Olympic champion, multiple World and European champion Olga Brusnikina;

- Russian heavyweight boxer, award-winning sportsman and current deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Nikolai Valuev;

- Olympic Champion, outstanding Russian Greco-Roman wrestler, current deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Karelin.

As Nikolai Valuev noted, considering the enthusiasm with which we approach the revival of the GTO Complex, and how regions are meeting it, by 2017 it will be adopted everywhere throughout Russia.

- Mission of the GTO Ambassador is more representative in nature, the famous boxer commented on his new status for pressmen. It is probably easier to do when you are a famous sportsman, we are also called 'public opinion leaders'. Most important, young people follow the example. When boys and girls approach me, I ask them, 'Are you going to pass GTO tests?' They answer, 'Of course, Nikolai Sergeevich!' So every time when GTO tests are passed in Russia we, as GTO Ambassadors, will try to attend these occasions. This is another public duty but we should understand that it is needed for our country so we don't refuse it.

Aleksandr Karelin also noted that Ambassador's mission is to make this complex serious and real, and make the GTO badge an opportunity for those who are going to qualify for it. 'This GTO badge should be a sign among equals rather than a blue ribbon among weak ones', he summarised.

During the GTO exhibition everyone could get a list of GTO standards for his/her level (age group), a trial record of GTO performance, and could pass one of the tests presented at the stand.

As a reminder, the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation as of March 24, 2014 started the revival of once most important and popular physical training and sports movement – 'Ready for Labour and Defence'. ANO "Executive Directorate for Sports Projects" (Kazan) was chosen as an official operator of implementation of this Decree.

Press Service of ANO "Executive Directorate for Sports Projects"

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Презентация знаков отличия ГТО 09.10.2014