Mr. Valery LIMARENKO, Acting Head of Sakhalin Region, took part in a meeting of the Organizing Committee of the 1st Winter Children of Asia International Games, which took place in Moscow. The event was under the presidency Mr. Yury TRUTNEV, Deputy Prime Minister Russian Federation — Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

— Now we pursue two goals. Rather a big number of guests have confirmed their participation in the Games, and they ought to leave with good memories about Sakhalin region, the Russian Federation. And, the second goal is that using the Games as a tool to increase the interest in physical training and sport in Sakhalin and Kurils, to improve quality of sports constructions – emphasized Mr. Yury TRUTNEV.

At the meeting, where representatives of federal departments also took part, Acting Head of the island region reported about preparatory activities.

— All works are carried on according to the plan. Now special attention is paid to preparation of sports venues in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the organization of transportation, accommodation and catering of the Games participants, — noted Mr. Valery LIMARENKO.

Representatives of all-Russian sports federations highly appreciated readiness of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk platforms, both on general and sports equipment. It is Gorniy Vozdukh Sports and Tourist Resort where competitions in snowboarding and alpine sport will take place, Gora Parkovaya Skiing Center (snowboarding), Kristall Ice Palace (figure skating, short track) Skiing and Biathlon Center (cross country skiing, biathlon), Winter Sports School (ski jumping) and Arena City Ice Center (ice hockey).

The Head of the island region named the safety of the Games venues as one of priority directions. The necessary number of enforcement officers has been determined and control systems of access have been installed at venues.

28 teams from 20 countries have already applied for participating in the Children of Asia Games. Hockey, skiing, short track and snowboarding are leaders among others by the number of athletes.

The main accommodation facilities for guests during the competition will be Vostok Training Center, Yunost Hybrid Hotel, Sinegorsk Mineral Waters Resort Center and the dormitory of Basic Medical College.

The guests will be transported on special shuttles between accommodation, catering, training and competition facilities.

The opening and closing ceremonies of Children of Asia Games will be held at Spartak Stadium in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and more than a thousand people from artistic groups of Sakhalin region and other regions of Russia will be involved in the theatrical part of the performances.

– There are only 30 days left before the start of the Games, so the preparations are already underway. I am sure that together with the federal authorities and territorial administrations we will be able to hold these competitions at the highest level and we will prove that Sakhalin region is capable of conducting such events. This will significantly increase the prestige of the region and its tourist attractiveness. The more important thing for us is that the renewed infrastructure — sports facilities, transport, medical equipment — will serve the residents of the islands for many years, — Mr. Valery LIMARENKO.

Following the meeting, it was decided that Ministry of Health Care of the Russian Federation would send additional resources of high quality medical care to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Ministry of Sports will send specialists who have been involved in organizing and preparing the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi to check the readiness of Sakhalin facilities. Security arrangements will be carried out by law enforcement agencies, and Ministry of Communications and Mass Media will launch the “Diaries of the Games” on Match TV during the competition.

The 1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games will be held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk from 8 to 17 February, 2019. More than 1,300 athletes from 20 countries, as well as 600 referees and about 1,000 volunteers will take part in the Games. 91 sets of medals in 8 sports will be played: skiing and biathlon, short track, figure skating, hockey, alpine skiing, snowboarding, and ski jumping.

The Torch Relay of the Games started from the South Kuril urban district on January 7, 2019. The torchbearers carried the symbol of the competitions on the islands Kunashir and Shikotan. On January 12, the athletes will get to the North Kuril Island Paramushir, and on January 18 the relay will begin their march across Sakhalin, starting from Okha. The Games Flame will cross the finish line on February 8 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.