The acting Governor of Sakhalin Region attended the meeting of the RF President with members of the Russian Government. Development of tourism and health was discussed. Special attention was drawn to Sakhalin’s preparation for the 1st Winter Children of Asia Games.

Ms. Olga GOLODETS, Vice Premier, mentioned that these competitions are one of the largest in the world today; among their founders is the Olympic Committee of Asia uniting 45 countries.

− The Games will be very serious and responsible. More than 20 teams will take part in the event. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will be hosting the first winter edition of the Games, thus opening a new agenda of children’s sports competitions, − said Ms. GOLODETS.

Mr. Valeriy LIMARENKO reported to Mr. Vladimir PUTIN that 6 key sports venues will be involved in the Games. They meet all modern requirements. Among them are Arena City Ice Center, Gorniy Vozdukh Sports and Tourist Resort, Kristall Ice Palace, Skiing and Biathlon Center, Gora Parkovaya Skiing Center, and Ski Jumping Center. About 60 facilities will be providing accommodation and catering for athletes and team members. The acting Governor noted that the hotels, medical support and security services are fully prepared to hold such a large-scale event. Transportation patterns are well streamlined, so that travel time between accommodation, catering, training, and competition venues is less than 15 minutes. More than a thousand volunteers, involved in regular classes and training, will be helping the guests.

− We believe that this event should become a festival not only for our guests, but, above all, for the residents of Sakhalin Region, that is why there will be a lot of cultural and tourist programs, − said Mr. LIMARENKO. − It is very important that all sports venues will remain heritage of Sakhalin Region. An additional five thousand young residents of Sakhalin will be able to practice various sports; we plan to hire 170 new coaches to provide functioning of additional classes. Such a powerful network could later lay the basis of an all-Russian sports camp in the Far East. This is our suggestion and we ask you to support this idea. The infrastructure can be used for training before important sporting events, as well as for international competitions.

After listening to Mr. LIMARENKO’s speech, Mr. PUTIN wished the head of the region good luck in holding the Games.

Children of Asia Winter Games will be held for the first time in the regional capital from February 8 to 17. Representatives from 20 countries will be participating: more than 1,300 athletes, 600 judges, 1,000 volunteers. 91 sets of medals in 8 sports will be awarded: cross-country skiing and biathlon, short track, figure skating, ice hockey, alpine skiing and snowboarding, ski jumping.