The We Compete As One foundation took part in the 10th International Sports Forum “Russia – a Sports Power”, which was held on September 28-30 at the Kuzbass Ice Palace in Kemerovo. At WCAO’s stand, visitors were able to learn about ongoing support programs and apply for assistance. The stand was visited by famous athletes, including Vladimir Salnikov, a four-time Olympic champion in swimming and the head of the Russian Swimming Federation, as well as media representatives and sports pundits.
On September 29 a solemn signing of a cooperation agreement between the Foundation and the Ministry of Sports of Russia took place. It stipulates joint programs development and implementation to support athletes unlawfully deprived of participation in international competitions, as well as preparation of activities for improving the assistance mechanism. On behalf of the Foundation, the agreement was signed by Nikita Mazepin, founder of We Compete As One.
During the forum, Nikita Mazepin and the CEO of WCAO Elena Rufova, took part in a session “Sport and Charity: Key Challenges” co-hosted by the National Sports Museum. During the session, Nikita Mazepin talked about the history of the Foundation, the types of assistance it offers and the most frequent requests coming from athletes. He stressed that every request is treaded personally, based on needs and aspirations of a specific athlete. The Foundation already works with School 21 of Sberbank, Skyeng, Skillbox, SuperJob, and other major partners. Elena Rufova then talked about the main challenges the team faced when creating the Foundation, and also shared her experience of interaction with the Russian sports community.
“For the Foundation and for me, the forum was greatly productive. I’d like to thank the Ministry of Sports and personally Oleg Matytsin for his participation and valuable recommendations on working with athletes. Also, thanks to the organisers of the forum for the opportunity to start a constructive dialogue with representatives of the sports community. Here, I held several important meetings and discussed a range of initiatives and proposals, which, I believe, will soon be welcomed and implemented. The reach of our Foundation is actively expanding, and athletes from all over the country are joining us for in this time they need qualified support more than ever,” said Nikita Mazepin, the founder of WCAO.
At the stand of the National Sports Museum, visitors got acquainted with the history of Russian sports and saw a number of sports and historical heritage artifacts including memorabilia belonging to Soviet and Russian champions, including Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 helmet, and trophies from major international competitions.
“Every region of our country needs a sports museum to act as a keeper of the history of glory and achievements, which we all are proud of,” commented Elena Istyagina-Eliseeva, the director of the National Sports Museum and a deputy chair of the Commission on Physical Culture and Promotion of a Healthy Lifestyle of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.
The International Sports Forum “Russia – a Sports Power” is a major event for the sports industry and probably the most renowned national platform, where vital issues of physical culture development, professional and mass sports are discussed. It brings together representatives of state authorities, business community, sports officials, leading industry experts, and media. In 2022, the event was visited by more than 5,000 participants from 15 countries. The agenda of the forum included promotion of physical culture and sports, support for Russian athletes, import substitution and digitalisation of sports.