Physical Culture and Sports in the USSR and Soviet Kazakhstan in the 1940s-1980s.

In the article the issues of the development of physical culture and sports in the USSR and the Kazakh SSR in the 1940s-1980s. are considered. The methodological basis of the study was the principle of historicism, which allowed to examine the subject of research in development and interrelation. A brief historiographical review demonstrated that in the Kazakh historiography the history of Kazakhstan's Soviet sport has never become the object of a special study of historians. In general, physical education was not given due attention by the authorities until the 1950s, however, in the second half of the 20th century, the introduction of physical culture and sports into the everyday life of a Soviet citizen was one of the important problems in the development of physical culture in the Soviet country. The expansion of the physical culture and sports movement was facilitated by the opening of universities, technical schools, schools, faculties of physical culture, sports schools, the creation of sports committees, societies, clubs, etc. The figures on the dynamics of the expansion of the material base in the USSR and in the republic are given. The authors characterize the national types of competitions that have acquired a mass character. It is concluded that already in the 1950s and 1970s physical culture and sports became part of the educational system, and physical culture became an important component of one of the aspects of leisure of the Soviet person and the social life of society.

The actualization of the problem at the present stage, which has become the object of research in this article, is associated with a number of factors: the need to popularize a healthy lifestyle after the crisis of the 1990s in the post-Soviet countries, the growth of interest in sports from the middle class, the deterioration of the physical condition of modern youth, the complication of the situation with the development of mass, and first of all, children's sports in the post-Soviet space, the awareness of the authorities and the general population of the illegality of curtailing educational work aimed at attracting physical culture and sports of citizens and a number of other reasons. Physical culture can be considered as a social phenomenon that reflects the historically determined level of material, spiritual, scientific, theoretical and practical achievements of the society, as a process of specific activity of people in the field of social and individual creativity. The system of physical culture and sports, moreover, appears as a historically determined type of social practice, in this case the history of physical education and sport is an important aspect of social history. An appeal to the problem of the history of physical education and sports is due to a special attention to the history of everyday life, and in its study the issues of leisure and psychophysical health of people are singled out, and so on.

The activity of the system of physical culture is embodied in the physical culture of the individual, which is a socially determined area of the general culture of man. This cultural sphere is a qualitative and systemic state of a person, characterized by a certain level of the special education, physical perfection, motivational orientation and social and spiritual values acquired as a result of education and integrated in the culture of lifestyle, spirituality and psychophysical health. Тherefore, аn important aspect of the development of a common culture is the knowledge about the development of physical culture and sports. A special place in their content should be occupied by the regional and national component. One can not but agree with the researchers who believe that the underestimation of the role of the national history of the sports and physical culture movement, the specifics of the national and regional components of physical culture and sport, corresponding to the psychological make-up of various ethnic groups of the multinational country, leads to a loss of the socio-cultural values of this sphere acquired as a result of centuries of peoples experience [1].

The methodological basis of the study was the principle of historicism, which allowed to examine the subject of research in the development and interrelation of the main social factors and conditions. The principle of scientific objectivity made it possible to analyze the subject under study taking into account the realities of social and political changes in society. The study used a systematic approach to the study of sources; an integral picture of the development of physical culture and sports in all its internal contradictions is also recreated on the basis of a systematic approach that makes it possible to identify regular links, take into account the general conditions and specificity of the development of physical culture and sports in the region under study. The authors used a historical and comparative method that allowed to determine with a significant degree of certainty the specifics of the development of physical culture and sports in a separate region. Historical science has accumulated and has a significant methodological toolkit, which allowed to create a research base of this work, which is based on complementary different methods.

The source of the article was statistical and other data from the funds of the State Archives of the Russian Federation (Moscow), the Archive of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty), published statistical collections on the national economy of the Kazakh SSR, etc.

The problems of sports life in Soviet literature were covered from the point of view of propaganda of the Soviet way of life, the symbol of which was an athlete with immaculate moral qualities. In this kind of works, the positive aspiration of all citizens of the Soviet country for sporting achievements, victories, physical education in everyday life, as well as the need for educational work among the younger generation, aimed at the spirit of competition and the desire to achieve victories and better results was emphasized.

The scientific traditions of the study of this problem were laid in the last century. Ye.Yu. Zelikson, G. Chudinov, Т.М. Kanevets, and others are among the first Soviet historians of physical culture. They laid the foundations of the Soviet school of the history of physical culture [2–4]. Since the 1950's the history of physical culture and sports in the USSR began to be studied as an independent object of research; intensive development of various aspects of the history of the physical culture and sports movement began. The development of physical culture and sports in certain time periods was studied in the works of D.A. Kradman and G.S. Demeter, N.P. Novoselov, S.D. Sinitsyn and G.D. Kharabuga, G.I. Kukushkin and others [5–9]. 1960s- 1980s are characterized by the emergence of large generalizing works and many different publications on the history of the emergence of physical culture and sports [10]. The growth of the number of literature published in the USSR in only three decades makes it possible to track the following figures: if in 1940 400 titles of the sports books, pamphlets, educational and methodical literature in the USSR were issued with a circulation of 3,100,000 copies, in 1950 — 519 and 6,900,000 units respectively, in 1960 there were already 839 names and 11.7 million copies [11].

Studying the physical culture and sports movement in the Soviet era, the authors portrayed it as a pyramid, based on a massive physical culture, and on top there was the sport of higher achievements. In general, analyzing Soviet historiography, it should be noted that all Soviet authors summed up that the successes of achievements in the Soviet physical culture movement were associated with social policy, the successful socioeconomic development of the USSR and subsequently became the property of all the Soviet republics and all the people who inhabited the USSR. It goes without saying that in all such works the ideological component dominated and there was no criticism of the Soviet system, including in the field of sports and physical education.

Russian researchers actively began to study the history of Soviet sports after 1991: evidence of this are dozens of defended in Russia dissertational works of humanitarians [12]. The modern stage of the Russian historiography of the problem under consideration is characterized by the introduction into the scientific circulation of significant factual material, the expansion of the problems and geography of research. There is a direction of literature that can be described as «sports literature». This subject is examined from various aspects by researchers: sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, physicians, etc., engaged in the study of the development of physical culture and sports, the health of citizens and the upbringing of sports culture of a citizen of the country. In general, it should be noted that the range of publications that could be defined as «literature about sports» is wide enough and covers the subject fields of many natural and humanitarian disciplines.

Foreign European historiography of the given topic also has certain research traditions. In foreign historiography monograph of H.U. Gumbrecht on the philosophy of sports entertainment and monograph of J. Heisinga on the phenomenon of play and game culture in human civilization should be noted; the history of spectacular sports in the USSR is represented by R. Edelman; M. O'Mahouni studied the field of visual culture associated with the development of Soviet sports, etc. [13–16]. This problem has continued to attract critical attention of foreign authors in recent decades, in particular, a number of articles were published in «The International Journal of the History of Sport» [17–19].

As for Kazakhstan's historiography, unfortunately, we have to admit that the history of Soviet sport has never become the object of a special generalizing study or monographic study of historians.

In the USSR during the 1920s-1930s physical culture was built for the purpose of military training of huge masses of the population. There was an obvious skew in the direction of the military applied nature ofsports, which did not contribute to the folding of such sports components as the development of the maximum possible number of sports, the interests of sports fans, their broad material support from the state, direct work to achieve specific high sports results, national sports in the national republics, etc. Involvement of the population in the sports and sports movement took place both on a voluntary basis and in a compulsory manner. Sport became an instrument for the education of Stalin's man «homo soveticus»; the essence was not sporting rivalry, but involvement and participation, developing a habit of collective action. Undoubtedly, this policy brought its results, Soviet posters of the 1930s of the XX century with the image of muscular guys and girls should have caused a desire to play sports. They instilled a love for a healthy and healthy way of life, fostering the interest of young people in physical training.

The Soviet state centralized the management of the affairs of physical culture and sports, a separate department of the Union level (the Supreme Council of Physical Culture, the all-union Council of Physical Culture, the all-union Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, the General Directorate for Physical Culture and Sports), these oversaw sports, existed since 1920 up to 1959 (with brief interruptions in 1953–1954). This central body was in charge of all physical culture and sports work in the Soviet Union, including leadership and control in the field of training physical culture, the construction and use of sports facilities, the production and distribution of sports equipment, etc. From 1959 to 1968 the leadership of physical culture and sports work in the country was entrusted to public organizations, in particular, to the Union of Sports Societies and Organizations of the USSR, but public organizations could not, according to the authorities, work in the sports field. And since 1968 the Union Republican Committee for Physical Culture and Sport was established under the Council of Ministers of the USSR (1968–1986). In 1986, it was reorganized into the Union State Republican Committee of the USSR for Physical Education and Sport, having existed until November 1991. It also carried out a centralized guide to physical education in the country, holding all-union sporting events and controlling sports competitions, preparing and distributing physical training personnel, coordinating plans for the production and distribution of sports equipment and building sports facilities, as well as for international relations in sports sphere. The main idea of the Soviet system of physical education was the provision on the accessibility and massiveness of physical culture, which, in our opinion, was an indisputable achievement of the Soviet period.

The situation on the development of sports and physical education changed in the post-war years, contradictory and complex processes in the socio-political and economic life of the USSR had a significant impact on the development of Soviet sports and physical culture in the second half of the 20th century. In the formation of physical culture in the Soviet Union, one of the important problems was the introduction of physical culture and sports in the everyday life of the Soviet people. The expansion of the physical culture and sports movement was facilitated by the opening of universities, technical schools, schools, faculties of physical culture, sports schools, the creation of sports committees, societies, clubs, large bases. The material base also expanded: in the USSR in 1940 there were only 378 stadiums (with 1.5 thousand or more seats for spectators), in 1957 the total number of stadiums was 1,423 (29 of them were large, 269 were medium ones, and 1125 were of small size), and the number of sports grounds complexes was 4685 [20], in 1968 there were already 2895 large stadiums, and the number of teams of physical culture was 206358 [21].

In the late 1940s the work on the promotion of physical culture and sports was intensified: the first post-war all-union conference on agitation and propaganda (in 1949), in 1951 the All-Union Committee for Physical Education and Sports issued a directive on the organization and promotion of physical education; in the universities the faculties of physical culture and sports were restored, since 1956 the first sports days of the USSR began to be held; in 1952 the Soviet Union became a participant of the international Olympic movement. The scope of such events became grandiose: for example, in 1967, 80 million people, 170,000 physical culture groups took part in the Fourth Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR, and the final competitions were held in 23 sports [11; 55]. Exhibitions of artistic photography on sports were regularly held, television, radio, newspapers and magazines actively promoted physical culture and replicated the achievements of Soviet sport. In 1961, 14 sports newspapers, 16 sports magazines, 12 ballots and 10 periodicals were published in the USSR, their one-time circulation reached 3 million copies [22]. In addition to periodicals and special literature, sports topics were reflected in art and popular science books, central, republican and local press, radio and television programs, documentary and feature films, etc.

It should be noted that the promotion of physical culture and sports had the results: in the 1960s in the USSR there were 84 million people who systematically were engaged in sports, that is, virtually every third Soviet citizen. In the USSR, more than 70 kinds of sports were developed, up to 500 different all-Union competitions were held annually, once in four years the Spartakiads of the People of the USSR were held. In1983, 95 million athletes and sportsmen participated in mass starts of the VIII Summer Spartakiad of the Peoples of the USSR, still almost every third resident of the country [23; 126]. Physical culture and sports ceased to be part of military-applied training, they became a part of leisure, hobby and predilection of the Soviet man. In 1986, there were 3,981 large stadiums in the USSR (with 1,5 thousand spectators and more), 83 thousand sports halls, 2,601 swimming pools, including 1554 indoor swimming pools. In addition, in the country there were about 600 thousand rifle shooting ranges, football fields, playgrounds and other sports facilities, every day about 30 million people could take part in sports facilities [20].

One of the stages in the development of physical culture and sports in Kazakhstan was the second birth of national sports. National types of competitions began to acquire a massive character. Representatives of almost all regions of Kazakhstan took part in the Kazakh-kures, thayak-zhugurtu (throwing sticks in the snow), Toguz-kumalak table game and many equestrian sports. A new round in the development of national sports in Kazakhstan began in 1944. The republic's sports organizations developed new rules for competitions in the main national sports and games [24; 53, 54]. In early 1945, the all-union Committee for Physical Education and Sports issued a special order «On Strengthening Work on National Sports». It noted the need for widespread use of national types of physical exercises that were part of the means of Soviet physical education and a powerful factor in the development of the mass physical culture movement in the national republics. As practical measures, the committee proposed to include elements of national games, dances and entertainments in the physical education programs of national schools and in the practice of preschool institutions, to arrange demonstrations on national sports on holidays, to revise existing and developed new competition rules, to select and streamlined national sports, including them in the practice of sports work in urban and rural sports teams.

In 1948 emphasis was placed on strengthening the work of the republic's sports organizations to create physical culture sections, especially in rural areas, sections on national sports, in order to improve teaching and training work in them, and to increase the involvement of Kazakh youth in sports. In 1949 «A Brief Collection of Kazakh National Sports» was published in the republic. It finally consolidated their official status and contributed to their further development. In 1958 the first all-union equestrian and sports competitions of kolkhozes, sovkhozes and horse farms were held in Moscow, its participants competed in kok-par, sayis, baiga for 7 km, kyz-kuu, kyz-jarys. And in 1960 the jubilee Spartakiad on national sports was held, it was dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Kazakh SSR, the obligatory test species included baiga on 7 and 16 km, jarga-zharys, kazakhsa-kures, kok-par, sayis, toguz-kumalak. But gradually the role and importance of national sports were reduced, being superseded by classical sports.

In 1957 there were 63 different stadiums in the Kazakh SSR, there were no large stadiums, 11 mediumsized stadiums, 52 small ones. There were 264 sports grounds in the republic, 117 of them were in schools; 1056 basketball courts (569 of them were in schools), and 5390 volleyball courts (2025 of them were in schools) [20]. And already in 3 years, in 1960 in Kazakhstan there were 59 stadiums with 1500 and more seats for spectators, 500 sports halls, 25 swimming pools, 1221 football field, 10700 volleyball, basketball and tennis courts.

In 1970 there were 98 large stadiums, 2,546 sports halls, 43 swimming pools, including 14 indoor ones, 4623 football fields, more than 16,600 volleyball, basketball and tennis.

Statistical data, given in different sources, do not coincide, and the discrepancies are significant. For example, according to the State Archives of the Russian Federation in 1969 in the Kazakh SSR there were 4503 physical culture teams and 846 370 athletes [25].

Other discrepant quantitative indicators are given in official collections. Firstly, the statistical compendiums published in the republic before 1987 did not even reflect the figures on the history of physical culture and sports (neither sports facilities, nor the number involved in physical culture, etc.); secondly, the data given in them were highly overstated, the discrepancies were more than 100 %). According to them the number of teams of physical education in 1970 was 10,366, the number of regularly engaged in physical culture and sports was more than 3,620,500 people, 1310600 of them were women. In 1970 in Kazakhstan there were 208 masters of sports of the USSR, more than 295200 sportsmen-dischargers. In 1975 there were 11470 physical culture collectives, 4201500 people, including 1554,600 women were systematically engaged in physical culture and sports; there were 367 masters of the USSR and 63,640 athletes were discharged [26; 240, 27; 137]. It is difficult to say what data is close to the real situation of those years, but in any case the dynamics of the development of physical culture and sports in the republic was positive and was growing over the years.

Archival materials show the development of the system of sports education in the secondary school system. In 1970, children's and youth's sports schools worked in the Kazakh SSR: 3 track and field athletics ones, 2 speed skating ones, 1 football school, 1 cross-country skiing (jumping) school. The number of people engaged in children's and youth sports schools was 3527 people (2.7 % in the USSR). Among them, 1678 people were engaged in athletics schools, 721 — in speed skating ones, 751 — in football ones, 210 — in mountain skiing schools, 167 — in skiing (snatching and jumping) schools [28; 97].

In 1980, there were 124 stadiums, 4663 sports halls, 76 swimming pools, 8,069 football fields and more than 24,500 volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. In 1986, 155 stadiums, 5,488 gyms, 113 swimming pools were functioning in Kazakhstan, including 59 indoor ones, 9205 football fields and more than 26,500 volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. In 1980 the number of teams of physical culture was 12167, the number of regularly engaged in physical culture and sports was more than 4891900 people, 2085500 of them were women; in the republic there were 592 masters of sports. In 1986, the number of physical training teams increased insignificantly, reaching 14422, while the number of people involved in physical education and sports exceeded 5652600 people, including women (more than 2138500); 397 Kazakhstani athletes were awarded «Master of Sports of the USSR» title [26; 240, 27; 137]. In 1986 in Kazakhstan, the capacity of sports facilities for 10 thousand people was 1,285, that was the highest security among all the republics of the USSR. It should be noted that the provision of the population with sports facilities in the country was less than one-third of the need for them [29; 376; 30, pp. 606-607].

The all-Union Games of the People of the USSR, held in 1949, brought 38 new records to Kazakhstan. The documents of the jubilee X All-Kazakhstan Sports Games of 1960 refer to 24 new republican records. A significant event in the sport life was the USSR championship in track and field athletics in 1965. Of the Kazakhstani athletes, the great success was achieved by the sprinter A. Tuyakov, who won the gold medal in the 200 m race. In Soviet times, the first Olympic medal was brought to Kazakhstan by athlete Gusman Kosanov, who became a silver medalist in Tokyo-1964. In 1972, the best athletes of the republic participated in the USSR national team in the 20th Olympic Games in Munich. The Olympic champions were wrestler Ryazantsev, wrestler A. Nazarenko (silver medalists), athlete V. Soldatenko, volleyball player V. Kravchenko and swimmer V. Aboimov. In the archival materials on the XXI Olympic Games in Moscow (1980), Kazakhstan athletes were represented. They won 16 medals. Among them were wrestler J. Ushkempirov, water polo player S. Kotenko, basketball player N. Olkhovaya, wrestler S. Serikov, weightlifter V. Mazin, runner V. Muraviev, boxers S. Konakbaev, V. Demyanenko, A. Bykov, T. Lesova, M. Azimov, F. Zigangirov, M. Myasnikov, O. Zagorodnev, M. Nechipurenko, A. Goncharenko [31].

The absence of generalizing works in the Kazakh historiography on the history of physical culture and sports requires professional historians to address these problems. Considering the history of Soviet sport and physical culture in the 1940s and 1980s, it is impossible not to mention the phenomenon of their rapid development. It is amazing that physical exercises among the widest sections of the population of the Soviet country were unprecedentedly popular. Despite the authorities efforts to popularize physical culture, such rapid successes of sports in our country would be impossible without a broad movement from below. A common Soviet citizen found in physical culture a way that helped to cope with difficulties, to take the mind off everyday worries. For some people, sport became a matter of life, professional earnings.

The management of physical culture and sports was often campaigning. Physical culture work was developed under the slogan «Massiveness is the basis of mastery!» «The main thing is not victory, the main thing is participation!». In the 1960s-1970s mass physical culture and sports in cities (and to a lesser extent in rural regions) were developed successfully. National sports didn't receive active distribution, although some activation of their development was typical for the 1940s-1950s. Active promotion of physical education and sports gave positive results: in the 1950s-1960s every third citizen of the country was attached to the sport. Physical culture and sports became part of the educational system and the history of physical culture became part of one of the aspects of social life in its development.

 

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Year: 2019
City: Karaganda
Category: History