|Moscow has a reputation for promoting youth sport. (ATR)
(ATR) The city of Moscow is starting a foundation with the aim of developing sport for young athletes in third world countries. The program is meant to complement the interest of the city in hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games.
Speaking to Around the Rings, Alexander Chernov, director of external affairs for the Moscow YOG bid said “this program shows Moscow’s dedication to youth sport. This program has been tested in Moscow, so why not share it with the world. We have to help nations to build youth sport. It is the responsibility of those who drink from this water make sure that it doesn’t stop”.
He said that Moscow would provide “whatever is needed” to the selected countries.
Young athletes could come to Moscow to train or the foundation would send Russian coaches or experts in sport management and development to the countries he said.
Moscow could also provide financial assistance for developing youth sport Chernov said. “We will send designs and resources for building sports centres. We have developed complexes with swimming pools, basketball courts, football pitches, that can be built in less than three months in any country. The countries will tell us what they think is best”.
Chernov said he thinks IOC members “already know Moscow very well” and that this foundation will help them in the YOG bid. “I don’t think this can influence their vote. They have a positive view of Moscow and the proof of this is that we are in the finals.
In a statement announcing the program, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said “the IOC’s initiative to introduce the Youth Olympic
Games is a great and much needed idea. What we are suggesting is to complement this initiative with a specially designed concept that will bring the world’s leading cities, such as Moscow, in youth sports development in order to help poor nations and promote youth sports with finance, expertise and equipment. The program’s target regions are mainly in Africa, South America and Asia. There is a tremendous human potential here which needs to be boosted”.
Moscow and Singapore are the two cities left in the race for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The IOC wil vote by post in the coming weeks, with a winner to be named Feb. 21. Written by Ed Hula III.
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