Where does sport begin? From the coach!


On October 30, the country began the week by celebrating an important professional holiday — Coach’s Day. Russia can be proud of its stellar mentors who have raised more than one generation of champions. Many of them became laureates of the National Sports Prize, the award ceremony of which will be held at the State Kremlin Palace on November 30, 2023 for the 14th time. In anticipation of the announcement of this year’s nominees and a month before the announcement of the winners, we decided to remember the laureates of past years.

The National Sports Award is a symbol of respect and gratitude to all people who work in sports, as well as to the great sports past of the country. In 2023, it will become one of the main events of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the state governing body in the field of physical culture and sports.

“A coach is one of the main people in an athlete’s life. It is he who, together with his students, goes through the thorns to the stars from the very first steps to the championship, through victories and defeats, good luck and, sometimes, offensive accidents, and sometimes injuries. It is professional mentors who can first discern the potential, and then inspire and help a new star shine on the sports horizon. It is coaches throughout the country who help make sport the norm of life not only for professional athletes, but also for all citizens of our country,” noted Oleg Matytsin, Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation.

Throughout the history of the award, many eminent coaches of whom the whole country is proud have become nominees and laureates. Thus, the main coaching award of the National Sports Award in 2022 was presented to the head coach of the Russian cross-country skiing team, president of the Russian Ski Racing Federation, three-time Olympic champion Elena Vyalbe. At the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, Russian athletes under her leadership won four gold, four silver and three bronze medals.

“We have a huge team working, I’m not alone. You can’t present it like that: 10 coaches from one federation, which, by the way, is bad. Of course, this is pride in our federation and pride in our athletes who performed so successfully at the Olympic Games. We are only creating. Love your industry, love your children, your profession — and everything should be fine with us,” Elena Valeryevna noted in her address to the future award nominees.

Interesting fact: One of Elena Valerievna’s wards, Alexander Bolshunov, a three-time Olympic champion, silver and bronze medalist of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, became the 2022 winner of the award in the “Pride of Russia: Athlete of the Year” category. Thus, on the same day and in the same year, awards went to both the coach and the athlete.

Also, the Honored Figure Skating Coach of the USSR Tatyana Anatolyevna Tarasova became the laureate of the 2022 National Sports Award in the “Epoch in Sports” category.

Under the leadership of Tatyana Tarasova, Irina Rodnina and Alexander Zaitsev, Natalya Bestemyanova and Andrey Bukin, Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko, Oksana Grischuk and Evgeny Platov, Ilya Kulik and Alexey Yagudin became Olympic champions.

“In order to have a good mood, you should always do figure skating at the end, right? This is music, this is dance and these are our beautiful guys. Thank you very much for the honor. Thanks a lot. We will try. We won, we are winning, and I think we will win,” said Tatyana Anatolyevna, who personally received the award at the ceremony in 2022.

Interesting fact: in different years, two outstanding personalities of Russian figure skating also became winners of the National Sports Award — Alexey Nikolaevich Mishin (winner in the nomination “Pride of Russia: Coach of the Year” 2015) and Tamara Nikolaevna Moskvina (winner in the nomination “Epoch in Sports” 2019) .

Tamara Nikolaevna once married her coach Igor Borisovich Moskvin, who trained a whole galaxy of outstanding Soviet and Russian athletes. It was her husband who initiated Moskvina’s transition from singles to pairs skating. Tamara’s partner was Alexey Mishin, together with whom they won many medals at home championships and European competitions. Later, Alexei Mishin would also become an outstanding mentor to the champions, and Tamara Moskvina and her husband would form one of the best coaching duos in the history of figure skating.

“You must have a love for life, for your relatives, for sports, you need to devote yourself to what you do, believe in yourself, trust the people who help you, and want to become better. Not only in figure skating, but becoming better as a person. You are an example for young skaters, for millions of fans. Try to do everything you do with pleasure. Be happy every day, at every training session,” Tamara Moskvina previously commented.

Let us recall that the National Sports Award was established by Decree of the Government of Russia dated July 1, 2010 No. 493 in order to stimulate the professional activities of athletes, coaches and specialists in the field of physical culture and sports.

The prize winners will be determined in 11 all-Russian competitions in 18 nominations. The names of the athletes of the year, people who contributed to the development of physical culture and sports and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, will become known. In addition, the best sports subject of the Russian Federation, the best sports school, etc. will be named.

Press service of the National Sports Award