The Turbostroitel Judo Club is the successor to a sports club at the Leningrad Metal Plant (LMP), which is one of the city’s oldest athletic clubs. The first athletic club opened at LMP in the 1930s. A sambo club led by Anatoly Rakhlin, who trained Vladimir Putin in his youth, opened here in September 1969. Rakhlin was one of the first Soviet judo instructors. This year the club marks its 50th anniversary.
Escorted by the head of the club, Mikhail Rakhlin, the President toured the club and watched judokas train. Rakhlin showed the President club awards and memorabilia, including items owned by his father, Anatoly Rakhlin.
During his visit to the club, the President presented state awards to athletes including former club athletes. Later, during a conversation over tea, those present watched a clip from the film, The Trainer, about Anatoly Rakhlin. President of the International Judo Federation Marius Vizer attended the meeting.
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Remarks at the state awards ceremony
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
I would like to congratulate us all on the occasion of our club’s anniversary. Fifty years is a nice round date. I see some here who started training with me on 21 Dekabristov Street. Conditions have clearly improved. Not that they are outstanding or anything, just standard working conditions, but training here has clearly become a more comfortable experience.
The club has accomplished a lot in its 50 years of existence. I am not even saying that club graduates have won the most prestigious awards, even Olympic gold medals. There are graduates like that as well. But most importantly, I believe the club has retained a tradition of working with young people, like Anatoly Rakhlin did.
I am not too comfortable saying things like this about myself, but we were just the same, shirttail boys running around town. This sport and this club played a major role in my life. I am sure it does the same for the kids that we saw today in the training hall, on the tatami.
I want to thank those who continue this cause and train young people. I should and must put it even more broadly. Not only those who run the Turbostroitel Club, but everyone who works in physical training and sports, especially with youth, who helps instill sports skills and helps the young people believe in themselves, find their calling, and develop the necessary character traits to be successful.
Thank you so much. I wish you every success.
I have a pleasant duty here, to present state awards. I thought we would do it at the Kremlin, as usual, or delegate this mission to the local top officials. But then I thought that presenting awards for specific accomplishments would work best if I do so at the specific place in our home town. Congratulations.
The award ceremony.
Vladimir Putin: Once again, I congratulate you all. I congratulate the veteran club members on receiving these awards, and I especially congratulate those who are doing real work in sport today. I want to express hope that you will continue to work for the benefit of the people that you serve and the benefit of our country. We have people to look up to and things to rely on. There are people who can achieve the most outstanding victories. However, this will not happen without someone like you standing by their side.
I wish you all the best. Congratulations on your awards.