The Athlete's Day is celebrated in Russia today. It was established in 1939 and is marked on every second Saturday of August. This is one of a few holidays, which preserved in the country since the Soviet times. It is not timed to any date or event and serves for the propaganda or sport and physical culture.
According to sociological data, some 12 per cent of men and only 5.1 per cent of women go in for sport in Russia. The number of health and sportive facilities reduced by 20 per cent and doesn't exceed 198,000, because the Russian authorities neglected the development of physical culture in sport for more than ten years.
A meeting of the State Council under the Chairmanship of Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on this problem in January. The Russian leader pointed to the importance of the development of physical culture and sport to improve the life quality and health of Russian citizens. A programme of the governmental support for the development of physical culture and sport was elaborated on the instructions of the President.