• Yuriy Zhukov: sambo can be included to the program of the Paralympic Games in Japan

Yuriy Zhukov: sambo can be included to the program of the Paralympic Games in Japan

26 December 2014 Sergei Grishin
Yuriy Zhukov: sambo can be included to the program of the Paralympic Games in Japan

Interest in sambo for disabled athletes grows every year. The most remarkable and significant competition in this direction is an open tournament “Overcoming”, which takes place in Moscow. Roman Novikov, main inspirer, a person applying a lot of efforts to develop sambo among blind people, prepared interview with Vice-President of the All-Russian Blind Sports Federation, Yuriy Zhukov, for FIAS web-site. When sambo can be included to the program of the Paralympic Games? When sambo will be officially recognized as an adaptive sport available to the blind? At what level sambo tournaments are held for disabled athletes? You find answers to these and other questions in today’s interview.

Reference: Yuriy Yuryevich Zhukov is a member of Executive Committee of Paralympic Committee of Russia, Vice-President of the All-Russian Blind Sports Federation, Candidate of pedagogical sciences, and Master of Sport of the USSR in Greco-Roman wrestling.

R.N.: Yuriy Yuryevich, what are the opportunities of introduction sambo among athletes who are blind and visually impaired into the program of the Paralympic Games?

Yu. Zh.: The chances of joining the Paralympic Games of blind sambo are high, but there are a lot of things to do first. This sambo direction is at the very beginning of its way, however, very many things have already been done for relatively short term. If it is going to develop this way in the future, then in 2020 sambo can become one of the disciplines at the Paralympic Games in Japan. In order to apply to the International Paralympic Committee, it is necessary for one or another kind of sport, adapted for sight impaired persons, to dynamically develop in 15 countries. Currently the signing of the agreement between the All-Russian Sambo Federation and the All-Russian Blind Sports Federation is under preparation. I believe that it will give a new impulse to the sambo development among sight impaired persons. Also in promoting sambo to the Paralympic Games an active support of the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) is very important, as well as financial support of sustainable business.

R.N.: In your opinion, what shall be done for popularization of sambo among blind wrestlers from other countries of the world?

Yu. Zh.: It is necessary to hold open sambo tournaments among blind and sight impaired athletes as much as possible, so that everyone who wishes could come and attend the tournament in the name of their country. From November 20 to 26 in Tokyo the Congress of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) was held, which was participated by President of the All-Russian Blind Sports Federation, Vice-President of the Russian Paralympic Committee, member of IBSA Executive Committee, Lidia Abramova. At the congress she delivered a presentation of adapted sambo available for sight impaired persons, which generated true interest among the members of IBSA Executive Committee. Currently the material for submission to the International Blind Sports Federation is under preparation, and we hope that sambo will be officially recognized as a kind of sport adapted for the blind persons. I have information that the development of blind sambo is actively taken interest by England, Austria, Slovakia, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and it is rather good result. I also think that the National sambo Federations shall actively support persons who are blind and visually impaired and interested in sambo, as well as assist them in their efforts in different countries.

R.N.: You were visited sambo tournaments among disabled athletes several times as an honored guest; please share your impressions.

Yu. Zh.: First of all, I would like to note a good level of sambo tournaments running for disabled athletes, and it is elevated from year to year. For disabled wrestlers there are very few such events, and the number of tournaments organized at such high level can be counted on fingers. In sambo tournaments, a Senior Coach of the blind Judo Team, Islam Ibragimov, likes to wrestle, and our other celebrities from the blind sport have already become their permanent participants.

It is especially pleasant to have attention from the International Sambo Federation. At the opening of the tournament “Overcoming”-3, the presenter read welcome letters from the FIAS President, Vasiliy Shestakov, and sambo legend, Fedor Emelianenko. By the way, the presenter of the tournament, Roman Mazurov, is well known to the sport world of combat sports as a commentator of the Fighter TV channel and as a Sport FM radio presenter. There is also substantial support of the first Vice-President of AllRussian Sambo Federation, Sergey Baydakov. As far as I know he always tries to visit these tournaments and emphasizes the importance and significance of this sambo direction.

Team meeting between blind and deaf sambists imposed on me, I was stressed till the very last fight, under results of which it became clear, whose Team would win the cup. It is also important to note that Alexey Oleynik visited the last tournament “Overcoming” who is two-time Combat sambo World Champion and current UFC fighter. The participants and guests of the tournament came to him to made photos and asked questions. The presence and support of famous fighters is very important. There is a great importance to cover the tournament in the media. As far as I know, the Fighter TV channel constantly shows the material from sambo tournaments among the disabled persons, and sets a good example for others.

On the whole, I would like to express to the organizers of these tournaments my sincere acknowledgement for their hard work. They are passionate about sambo, and I wish them to succeed!

Author: Roman Novikov

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