Tyarlevo, Pavlovsk, Saint-Petersburg... How athletics began in Russia

This article is considered the first steps of national athletics, which originated in Russia in the last quarter of the 19 th century, including the information about the objective source study and methodological difficulties are faced by researchers. From the beginning the social origin and biographical data of the first Russian athletes, the places of their first competitions, the reasons that led them to join circles and the struggle for official registration are clarified. Thus, the distinctive features of the formation and existence of sports organizations in this period are revealed, which can be conventionally called the “time of circles” (small groups), or “the era of circles”. These identified signs, first of all, include initiative from below (from persons), the willingness of people working in the main non-sports work to invest their money in the activities of clubs where they spent active leisure time, emphasis not on “professionalism”, but on a healthy lifestyle, the simultaneous participation of athletes in different types sports. It is thanks to these fundamental ideas that the “founding fathers” of Russian athletics and their closest followers harmoniously blended into Soviet reality and became the organizers of Soviet mass sports, including Soviet athletics, the TRP complex, and sports education. It was these factors that played a huge role in the physical education of the younger generation, who stood up to defend the Fatherland in 1941 and finally defeated the most inhuman enemy in our history. Unfortunately, this era has ended, and now the era of “money-funs” has come in the world of sports, sport has become a spectacle and a means of earning big money even to the detriment of the health and future fate of athletes. Therefore, turning to the sources at the moment seems timely and vital.

For citation: Vyzhevsky S.V. Tyarlevo, Pavlovsk, Saint-Petersburg... How athletics began in Russia. St. Petersburg Sociology Today. 2020. N. 13/14. P. 235-270. DOI:10.25990/socinstras.pss-13-14.qh7g-9247