This year, the Murmansk Children’s and Youth Sports School No. 7 turns 45 years old. The official date of its creation is September 1, 1977. This is true, but only partially. In fact, the chronicle of boxing at 17a Kirov Blvd. begins much earlier. But before we move on to a story about the school that has written many bright pages in the history of sports in Murmansk, let’s talk about something else.
– The building in which we are located was originally a boiler house that supplied heat and hot water to the houses of Zhilstroy, – says Vasily Gavrilyuk, director of Children’s and Youth Sports School No. 7, master of sports. – In fact, after being converted into a sports school, the building was never renovated again. It is clear that over time it fell apart. That is why the main task recently, in addition to the learning process, is repair. Although it is not completely finished yet, but we have already done the main thing.
Vasily Nikolayevich has a lot to be proud of. Vladimir Goryachkin, honorary citizen of the hero city of Murmansk and long-time president of the Murmansk City Boxing Federation, Vladimir Goryachkin, who recently visited Sports School No. 7, called Children’s Sports School No. 7 a real boxing palace.
For several years of work, which was carried out with the financial support of the Murmansk administration, we really managed to do a lot.
– Our roof was leaking, we dealt with it in the first place – says Vasiliy Gavrilyuk. – Now the roof has been completely repaired. Then they changed the heating system, made new ventilation. For a long time we didn’t have a separate changing room for girls, but this year we did. We had to move our archive and now in this room the girls can safely change. There is also a shower and toilet in the dressing room. Some of the floors have been changed. We made lockers and a training room. In addition, we have acquired new inventory, the old one has been strengthened. Installed two new rings. And it completely updates the lighting system. Now the room is much brighter. Separately, they installed lamps that provide lighting directly to the ring. We made and installed racks for storing sports equipment – gloves, paws, ropes.
I happened to visit Children’s Sports School No. 7 in the period before the perestroika, and I can say that the transformations are really huge. Drafts are gone, the floor is covered with soft mats (they can be removed at any time). For this reason, they are allowed in the hall either in changeable shoes or in shoe covers. And they made no exception for the journalist. Huge windows let in plenty of light, and when the polar night falls, new lighting will come into play. They showed it to me and I can say that it is not only effective, but also comfortable – it does not hit and does not hurt the eyes.
However, there is still much to do at school. Now Vasily Gavrilyuk is worried about the condition of the foundation. Work is already planned there. The lobby and visitor changing room need updating. The facade of the building needs a facelift.
The reconstruction, according to Vasily Gavrilyuk, allows not only the successful conduct of the educational and training process, but also the conduct of competitions at a fairly high level. For example, the championship of the North-West Federal District.
Now let’s go back to the history of Youth Sports School No. 7. Imagine Zhilstroy in the mid-1950s. Countless beer stands, wooden two-story shacks around. They were heated with wood, therefore there are many sheds in the area for their storage.
Soon a miracle happened – a boiler room was built there. Firewood was no longer needed. But Murmansk grew so fast that the boiler capacity soon became insufficient. In 1967, the “Labour Reserves” boxing school was opened in a building that was a boiler room.
“Until 1967, there were only a few rings in Murmansk,” recalls Vasily Gavrilyuk. – One was at Trud stadium. This is where I put on boxing gloves for the first time. Why there? Because he loved skating. We went to Trud to drive and not only that. Then the boys from different regions of Murmansk came to the rink to fight. And then I realize that there is a boxing section in the stadium. I decided to give it a try. Liked. And for more than 40 years, boxing has been my life, my everything.
Honored coach of Russia Eduard Nilov in one of the interviews recalled that the premises of the former boiler house were not equipped for boxing, they had to start literally from scratch. Over time, they made a ring there and installed the necessary shells. But already at the end of the 60s, the first heroes appeared in the new gym – Valery Lobanov and Alexander Shchetinov. Both became winners of the USSR Youth Championship, Valery – in 1968, and Alexander – a year later. The latter also won silver at the All-Union Youth Games, losing in the final to Nikolay Nikitaev of Tashkent, the future champion of the Soviet Union. In 1971, largely thanks to the success of the Murmansk School of Boxing, the Central Council of Labor Reserves entrusted the capital of Kola Arctic with the right to host the All-Union Championship of the Sports Society. Three years later, our city hosted the junior championship of the USSR, and then the championship of the country’s armed forces.
“I came to the gym in 1973,” recalls the coach of Youth Sports School No. 7, master of sports Vladimir Petrashko. – Then there were boxers in one room and trampolines in the other. Then, as I recall, the acrobats crashed and left us. Classic wrestlers settled in instead. By the way, they were trained by the honored coach of the USSR Matvey Hrushevsky.
Recall that Matvey Moiseevich Hrushevsky received this honorary title in 1987 for training the wrestler Sergey Balanchuk, who won the USSR Youth Championship, as well as Nikolai Ryabov, champion of the People’s Games of the RSFSR. In addition, Hrushevsky became one of the first to train girls. In 1990, he went to the USA, but there he failed to achieve great success. He currently lives in New York.
New life for the old school
In 1977, the sports school was renamed the Children’s and Youth Sports School (DYSSh) No. 7. It is possible that the transfer of the sports school from the Labor Reserves to the city of Murmansk is related to the incident that Vladimir Petrashko talked about. Be that as it may, the sporting life of 17a Kirov Blvd. continued.
The 1980s also saw significant progress. We have already talked about the victories of wrestlers Matvey Hrushevsky, but a little earlier, in 1985, Vladimir Petrashko became a bronze medalist of the USSR boxing championship. To date, this is the highest achievement of polar fighters.
In the 1990s, the school began to develop new sports – kickboxing and Thai boxing. It turned out that the fighters from Murmansk have huge potential. Nikolai Slyunchenko became a two-time world champion in kickboxing, but Almaz Gismeev, nine-time world champion in kickboxing, ten-time champion of Russia, Honored Master of Sports and Honored Coach of the Russian Federation, brought real glory to Murmansk.
The winning traditions of the sports school were continued by Olga Petrashko, who became the winner of the Russian boxing championship in 2021 and fulfilled the standard of a master of sports. Ilya Balanov, world champion, European champion, three-time champion of our country in Thai boxing, Yuri Lisoi, winner of the Russian championship in the same sport, and Yulia Shokhina, winner of the world, European and Russian championships, train at school.
Let’s hope that soon new champions will appear in Youth Sports School #7.