Voluntary Sports Societies Of The Soviet Union
Voluntary Sports Societies (VSS) of the USSR (Russian: Добровольные спортивные общества (ДСО) СССР, Dobrobolvolnye Sportivye Obshestva SSSR (DSO SSSR)) were the main structural parts of the universal sports and physical education (fitness) system, that existed in the USSR between 1935 and 1991, together with already well established Dinamo, society in cooperation with Army, Aviation, and Fleet (DOSAAF), and CSKA sports societies.
VSS united working people and students going in for sports, physical culture, hiking, mountaineering, boating, and various other sports. The societies provided a sponsorship for various sport events and often existed on the volunteer donations from the workers of the certain industry with which they were associated. Their goals were to develop mass physical culture and sports and to provide facilities and conditions for sports training and improvement in athletes' skills. Most of the VSS were governed by trade Unions and often were closely associated with a certain ministry. Twenty five million athletes were members of such societies in 1970.
One of the most important features of VSS were Children and Youth Sport Schools (Russian: Детско-юношеские спортивные школы, ДЮСШ), which numbered 1,350 in the 1970s and 7,500 in 1987. Later some of them were reformed into more elite Olympic reserve schools. There were also specialized sport clubs, groups of improvement athletes' skills, etc. More than 50,000 trainers and instructors worked there in these institutions.
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