What exactly is sports tourism?

Sports tourism is a young and developing sport. It brings together various sports, like swimming, hiking, skiing, sailing, etc. to overcome obstacles, which is what makes it challenging and also exciting.

After 4th grade, I was tired of doing needlework (knitting, sewing, beading), and my parents decided to enroll me in sports. I liked it! Then when I turned 11, my older brother took me to my first sports tourism club. That’s how it all started.

How many places have you visited while doing sports? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve had many trips to compete all over Russia, even one where I went to Belarus. My favorite would probably be the city of Belgorod. I visited it last autumn in connection with a trip to the Russian Sports Tourism Championship. I remember the warm weather, the difficult terrain and beautiful landscapes.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Lyubov Petrova
Credit: Photo courtesy of Lyubov Petrova

Do you have any hacks for being in your zone, the most focused state?

I always pay attention to the state in which I prepare for a competition. You should be at your best but still rested, not exhausted by the training. I also keep an eye on my nutrition during competitions, and before it starts, I try to focus all my thoughts on the upcoming race.

Is it difficult to balance sports with your studies? 

Of course, if you want to achieve high results in sports, it will be difficult to combine it with other activities, including studying at university. There was a time where I had a lot of things to do, many subjects to study, and almost all my weekends were spent at competitions or training trips. Also, on top of that I had approximately three training sessions per week. Sometimes I had to skip them. Those times were really difficult, both physically and mentally?. Later everything went back to normal. I learned to manage all my activities better, and even enrolled in a second club on tourism! So now I am a member of two clubs: the one at ITMO and SCYSSOR № 2. I have to mention that I also pass all my exams!

Do you have any role model you look up to?

Yes, I always tried to look up to more experienced athletes. It’s good to watch their performances in competitions. For example, one of the strongest sportswomen in sports tourism right now is Ksenia Mubarakshina. She has won the Russian Championship and national competitions multiple times. I look up to her.

How does ITMO University support you? 

ITMO provides my club with equipment, and high quality equipment is essential in my sport. Also, several times a year ITMO sends us to different competitions. Not to mention that I get a sports scholarship.

I am very grateful to my university!

Can you tell us about one or two things you do that help you in your training?

In my sport, in addition to developing your speed and strength, it is important to think carefully about the distance you’re going to cover. You need to come up with tactics that will help you win the competition. Often before training, we discuss with other team members the strategies we will use and share our thoughts about them. To prevent injuries, we always warm up before the main event and before training. I often watch videos of other athletes' performances, it helps me, too.

Have you had any serious injuries?

No, I've never had an injury. In general, sports tourism is not very traumatic, if you do everything according to the rules and safety regulations. However, sometimes there are accidents, and I have seen injuries at competitions, and some have happened to my friends.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Lyubov Petrova
Credit: Photo courtesy of Lyubov Petrova

How important do you think it is to have a positive attitude?

I think that in order to achieve success in anything, a person must sincerely love what they do . It is impossible to give your best if you don’t like what you do. In sports, the relationship between the coach and the athlete is also very important.

Have your parents always been supportive of your sports activities? 

Yes, since I was a kid, my parents always let me go to competitions and supported me in every way.

How are you practicing sports tourism at the moment and how has it helped you cope with the current situation?

Currently, I train almost every day, I attend two clubs on sports tourism and I am an athlete of the St. Petersburg city team. This sport has given me a lot of amazing friends I have a lot in common with. We experience lots of exciting moments in competitions together. And I am very glad that everything turned out just like that, and that I decided to start doing sports tourism.

English Editorial Office

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