VALERY RADCHENKO: BIG SPORT IS NOT LEAVING KHANTY-MANSIYSK

Close to the start of Biathlon World Cup Final in Khanty-Mansiysk the executive director of organizing committee Valery Radchenko was officially approved as a head of “UgraMegaSport”. Thus, Valery Michaylovich will regulate not only biathlon competitions but other sport events held on the territory of Ugra. Taking congratulations on his appointment, Radchenko has answered several topical questions.

— I was born in Bryansk region. When I was 17, I entered an army University of physical culture in Leningrad. I was entering it as a biathlete – during my University years I was studying in a group of Anatoly Alyabiev, there I got acquainted with Vladimir Drachyov and other people from biathlon community, so I will keep connected with biathlon for all my life. Upon finishing the University I was sent to Northern fleet. I’ve changed several positions there – from deputy commander of sport squadron to the head of sport club. In Severomorsk a big attention was paid to sport, there were many venues there: stadium, skating arena, rifle range, swimming pool and several sport halls… — a big household needs a lot of personnel. After spending several years on North fleet, I was sent to Novorossiysk army and fleet base. Then, from 1998 till 2007 I was working a head of yacht club of the Ministry of Defense in Sochi. Right after leaving Army I was working in the center of training of football teams in Sochi and in hotel business. I had an experience of working on Olympic venues and managing the biggest health resorts – like Ordzhonikidze sanatorium.

— How have you decided after living so close to the warm sea, to come back to the North?

— I’ve just seen an advertisement. On the web-page of state services I saw a vacant position in “UgraMegaSport”. At that moment I didn’t know anybody in Khanty-Mansiysk. My main motive was to continue working in big sport. I’ve taken part in the competition, presented my program and was included in short list of candidates. And in half a year I was appointed as a deputy director of the organization and starting from summer 2015 took the lead of it. So now it is almost a year I am working here.

— “UgraMegaSport” is one of the major sport organizations not only in the region but in the whole country. How did you find it and what perspectives of development do you see?

— The unique thing about our organization is that it coordinated a work of many sport venues and organizes competitions. Of cause, it would be easier to have only one of these functions. However, in Ugra the situation is different, but this gives me additional motivation in my work.

— You came back in big sport and found that the situation in biathlon is completely different than in times of your youth. Was it difficult for you?

— As for biathlon, I was not surprised at all even after visiting European stadiums. Probably, this is because stadium in Khanty-Mansiysk is still one of the best in the world. This is certified by many diplomas and certificates given to our Winter sports center during this year. Besides, every year Ugra hosts more than 300 competitions in 56 sports. So I had to go into many new things. Still my education helps me in this as well as the team of professionals that work in our organization.

— What is specific about organizing Biathlon World Cup Final in Khanty-Mansiysk in comparison with other Cups you have visited?

— Traditionally, the organization in Khanty-Mansiysk is more broad scale. World Cup in Russia is organized almost on state level. This is also said by officials of International Biathlon Union. And, of cause, I feel sorry for my European colleagues, who have to prepare the track at +12 degrees Celsius. From this point of view Ugra has an ideal climate for biathlon.   We always have some snow stored for competitions, besides, natural snow starts here very early nd stays for long. Thus, on October’21 18 teams – regional and national – have started their first training of the season here. As for current track conditions, participants and spectators will be able to see it with their own eyes. I am sure, it will be the best among all biathlon competitions held this season.

— After 2016 big biathlon will leave Khanty-Mansiysk for some time. What will happen with Winter Sports Center then?

— In any case, we are not saying goodbye to big sport. It is already confirmed that in 2017 Khanty-Mansiysk will be hosting Biathlon Championships of Russia, soon it will be approved that the National Winter Spartakiad of adaptive sports will also be held here. We are discussing several variants of reconstruction of the stadium, the plan is not approved yet so there’s nothing to discuss yet. The key moment we want to see after reconstruction is some business and shopping center on the territory of the stadium or hotel. At the moment hotel “On seven hills” — is an independent organization and this makes some problems for teams, we cannot guarantee them special prices. This can only be done in “Olympiyskaya” hotel. Though it is not far from the stadium, still it takes some time for going from one venue to another. Almost all European biathlon stadiums have their own hotel complexes. I hope, we will have it some day too.