MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. The Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation has given the rights and responsibilities to the All-Russian Federation of Sports for the Blind to develop sports for the blind. The organisation's president, three-time Paralympic Games champion Olga Semenova, told TASS on Thursday.
"On 28 December a meeting of the commission of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation on state accreditation of public organisations for granting them the status of all-Russian sports federation and granting the all-Russian public physical culture and sports organisation the rights and obligations of the all-Russian sports federation took place. As a result of the meeting, the commission decided to suspend the accreditation of the Federation of Blind Sports headed by Lydia Pavlovna Abramova. The Ministry of Sport granted the rights and responsibilities for the development of blind sport to our federation," said Olga Semenova.
The All-Russian Federation of Blind Sports was founded in April 2022. Among the founders are Semenova, four-time Paralympic champion Sergey Punko, two-time Paralympic champion Ildar Pomykalov, Paralympic medallists Alexey Lashmanov, Alexander Golintovsky, Honoured Coach of Russia Vyacheslav Goldinov and other athletes - champions and medallists of the Paralympic Games and world championships - dissatisfied with the Federation of Blind Sports, led by Abramova.
"Since its inception, we have been involved in the development of children's and youth sport, with spartakiades, inter-regional competitions, as well as motivational meetings with children and Paralympic lessons being held under the auspices of our federation. After being empowered, we have to change the situation on the development of high performance sport in the Russian Federation and raise the sport performance of visually impaired athletes to a competitive international level. It is necessary to stop the decline of blind sports, which is observed in Russia. At the Games in Tokyo in 2021 athletes with visual impairments won only 2 gold medals, while in 2012 in London there were 14 gold medals. Due to the poorly organised final training camp, the team was unable to fly to the Beijing Games in its entirety, and more than half of the team contracted a coronavirus infection," added Semenova.