The swimming pool of Voronezh State University was built four years ago. Since then, over three thousand people have learnt to swim there. The trainers and their students regularly demonstrate their skills at competitions. Yury Perin, a senior coach, told us why there are no swimming pools in the Central Black Earth Region that can compare with the VSU swimming pool and what it takes to have the first training session.
The best swimming pool in the Central Black Earth Region
“My idea of having a swimming pool at VSU was welcomed by the Rector, Dmitry Endovitsky. The building was built incredibly fast and it was equipped with the latest technologies. When it opened four years ago, it was the best swimming pool in the Central Black Earth Region. Since then, nothing has changed that. We have underfloor heating along the nosing, a glassed coaching room in the pool basin from where it is very convenient to watch what is going on in the basin, and a system of electronic time-tracking and computer-aided record of results. During competitions, we do not use a manual stopwatch or a so called semi-automatic approach. We have an electronic system instead: at the finish, the swimmer touches a touch pad with their hand and the data is processed automatically without the participation of a timekeeper. All world and European records must be recorded only by such a system. The starting blocks in the swimming pool have supports and are of world-class quality. And most importantly, there is a starting device for backstrokers. Our swimming pool is the only swimming pool in the Central Black Earth Region which has been certified to register world and European records. The lengths of the lanes with installed electronic timing system pads are exactly 25 meters and not a micron shorter. The measurements were carried out by the Centre for Standardisation, Metrology, and Examination in the Voronezh Region. Three Russian records have been set in our swimming pool in the category of "Masters". We have a lot of swimming pools in our city, however, some of them do not meet the technical requirements for holding sport competitions.”
Three prize-winners of the World Swimming Championship are VSU coaches
“Coaches have to both know well the theory of teaching swimming and be a good example for their students. The team of our “Swimming School” includes three champions and prize-winners of the 2015 Masters championship: Tatiana Prokofieva, Natalia Ismailova, and me. The coaches of the “Swimming School” of Voronezh State University have a healthy lifestyle, train, and take part in national and international swimming competitions in the "Masters" category (over 25 years old), even after the end of their professional sport career.”
Four training areas in the “Swimming School”
“We have four training levels. The first level involves children who hold onto the swimming-pool nosing and usually wear armbands. The second level aims at building up health. Swimming is one of few sports that hardly has any contraindications. It has little joint load and is beneficial to the bronchopulmonary, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems. The third area involves improvement in the sport. And the fourth is dedicated to achieving mastery of the sport. It is for those who want to obtain professional level results. In other words, our school is for everybody! The only restriction that can lead to expulsion is violation of the safety rules and regulations in the swimming pool.”
Things to be proud of
“We have taught several thousand children to swim! I consider this our major achievement. Our students have become prize-winners at national children’s competitions. A few days ago, they returned from a national competition in Saransk. Our athletes achieved second and third senior category classification standards. Some children come from municipal sports schools and they want to improve their skills and to achieve the candidate of sport or the master of sport qualification standard. This is nice to know. Especially taking into consideration the fact that we are a commercial school.”
About the right to assign sport categories
“Every sports organisation that teaches swimming can assign junior sports categories and titles following the results of competitions as requested by the coach. Senior categories can be awarded to young athletes upon request by the swimming federation of the Voronezh Region. We submit documents to the swimming federation of the Voronezh Region: final protocols of competitions, the list of judges, and other documents. The swimming federation files a request to the administration of the city to assign a senior category.
Today, there are 8 coaches and about 800 students at the “Swimming School”. The age of children is between 7 and 16 years old. You can join our training sessions at any time. To do so, you can send a message to the VKontakte group.”