Sports And Recreation In Russia

Sports And Recreation In Russia
Sports And Recreation In Russia

Learn about a wide range of activities, sports and entertainment pursuits offered in Russia

Because of its terrain and seasons, Russia offers great opportunities for sports and recreation activities year round. Hiking, skiing, skating, soccer, basketball, hockey, running, swimming, boating, tennis, golf and fishing – just a small selection of sports and outdoor pursuits available.

Foreigners often learn about teams, clubs or facilities for a particular sport or activity verbally, so ask around friends and colleagues, both foreigners and Russians, Or try wondering at sports centers. In addition, questions can be made or specific questions are asked on forums on, a website (in Russian) with English-speaking contributors.

All the sports listed below have a website that includes national institutions, but these are almost always only in Russian, unless otherwise mentioned. Clubs and teams for activities for non-Russian speakers may exist in larger cities, but it may help expand the selection of potential groups if some Russians to speak.

Ball Game

Football, volleyball, handball and hockey can be played outdoors in the summer or indoors in the winter. Other options include facilities for basketball that can be used to play ball games in any season.

Tennis sports

Although tennis, table tennis and badminton are all very popular, tennis is often played by the upper class, badminton is a game for a pleasant summer evening and table tennis is played on park days. or as an office pastime. Private and public tennis courts can be found in most cities.


In addition to modern fencing that has long been an Olympic sport, ‘historical fencing’ has become an official sport in Russia. Reconstructions of medieval tournaments became popular due to the JRR Tolkien fever that engulfed Russian society in the 1990s.


Russia has long been excellent at chess and many children learn to play on their own or at special clubs. In the summer, adult groups bring chess kits to the park to play games with friends. Local and national tournaments are usually held and the city of Elista in Kalmykia is the country’s chess center. The former president of the Kalmyk Republic, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has been the head of the Russian Chess Federation for many years and has been president of the World Chess Federation since 1995.

Water sport

Swimming is a year-round sport that can be enjoyed in natural locations like the Crimean Sea of Russia; lakes in the Caucasus or Ural mountains and the Karelia region; or there are many rivers in the country. In addition, swimming pools exist in every city and town, often as part of a fitness center. They often provide ball games that are played on the water like water balls. Synchronized swimming is a competitive and Olympic sport, so it is primarily related to professionals.

Canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving and wind surfing are all popular in Russia, organized by clubs or on trips run by travel agencies.

Boxing And Martial Arts

While boxing was always popular, martial arts like karate and taekwondo began to appear in the 1990s and quickly became popular. Fighting Greco-Roman is also common. Boxing can be practiced at fitness centers, while martial arts are often practiced at special clubs.

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