information for global expats

Fitness and Sport for Expats in Russia

Submitted: January 2014


From merely viewing any Olympics Games, you will come to realize that Russians take their sports very seriously. They have been successful at a number of sporting disciplines and consistently finish in the top rankings at the Olympic Games and in other international competitions.

If you are looking for a sport for you and/or your children to join, you would be pleased to know that Russia offers a wide range of sporting and leisure activities all year round. Some of the sporting pursuits available include swimming, skiing, ice skating, gymnastics, running, football and golf, amongst others.

Information on teams, clubs and sporting facilities can be easily found out from speaking with new neighbours or friends as well as visiting local sport centres. Most clubs may not necessarily cater for non-Russian speakers but in the larger cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg, it is possible to find some clubs and sporting teams that cater for English speakers.

Swimming - There are many swimming pools throughout Russia, in particular Moscow. One is usually allowed to swim in a pool for any length of time, day and night. However, it is important to note that it is necessary to provide a medical certificate of health issued by a medical institution after undergoing a health examination before beginning any swimming regime. Swimming can also be enjoyed in natural locations such as the Crimean Sea and lakes in the Ural Mountains or Kareli Region. See www.russwimming.ru, for more information on swimming in Russia.

Ball Games – Handball, football, volleyball and hockey can be played either outdoors or indoors. See www.rushandbal.ru, www.rfs.ru, www.volley.ru, and www.fieldhockey.ru, for further information on each sport.

Athletics – If you like to run, you can practice this sport in any season at public stadia, and in your local area by simply taking to the streets. There are also several marathons that take place in Russia during the spring and autumn months. If you take your running very seriously, then you can join one of the many athletic clubs available in the cities. These clubs normally cater for sportsmen, juniors and beginner athletes and employ professional coaches and specialists.
Chess - Russia has long excelled at chess and many Russian children learn to play by themselves or at special clubs. In summer, you will often find groups of adults taking chess kits to the park for games with friends. For more information see www.russiachess.org.



Apart from the individual sports clubs, Russia offers opportunities to those who wish to keep fit. There are approximately many fitness centers throughout the country. Below are some fitness centres or clubs:

  • Alex Fitness (https://www.alexfitness.ru/msk) - They offer more than 40 formats of group programs which include cardio, strength, dance, yoga and Pilates with professionally - trained instructors
  • B&G Fit (https://www.bgfit.ru/) - They offer group classes in Basic Aerobics, Dance Aerobics, Pilates, Callinetics, Yoga, Strength training, amongst others. There is also access to the general Gym.
  • Marina Club (www.marina-club.ru) - This club is equipped with a 50-meter indoor pool with 10 tracks and a 12-metre aqua-slop
  • Chaika Sports Complex (www.chayka-sport.ru) - This Municipal sports club offer access to tennis courts as well as two 25-metre and 50-metre open air pools and two additional paddling pools



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