Spartak (sports society)

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The emblem of the VSS Spartak

Spartak (Russian: Спартак; English:Spartacus) is an international fitness and sports society that unites some countries of the former Soviet Union.

It was founded in 1921 in Moscow as the "Moscow Sports Circle" (MSK) by footballer Nikolai Starostin and others. In 1926 it came under the sponsorship of the food worker's union ("Pischevik"). In 1934, it adopted the name of Spartak, after the ancient Roman slave, rebel and athlete Spartacus and became the sports society for all unions. It was dissolved in 1987 and reformed in 1991 as an international society among six nations of the former Soviet Union.


Spartak was the first and the largest All-Union Voluntary Sports Society of workers of state trade, producers' cooperation, light industry, civil aviation, education, culture, health service etc. Originated in 1925-26 as several physical culture groups by small producers' artels as an all-union physical culture and sports society it was established on April 19, 1935 on the resolution of the Soviet government[1] when its statute was approved by the All-Union Council of Physical Culture.

In 1936 Spartak organized and successfully conducted a sports parade at the Moscow's Red Square.[2] In 1960 the society was reorganized into the Voluntary Sport Society. There were 23,000 physical culture collectives in the society in 1975 (including 100 sport clubs), that united 6.2 million people. There were 40 sports disciplines cultivated in the society in 1975. The society possessed 238 stadiums, 89 swimming pools, 1,800 sports halls, 1,300 football grounds, 2,600 sports camps, 264 Children and Youth Sport Schools (75,000 students).

In 1987 Spartak was abolished and all its assets were transferred back to trade unions. In 1991 the society was reorganized as an international. Currently the society has affiliation in six countries of the former Soviet Union: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan.[3] Each society's affiliation is subordinated to their respective country's government, Olympic and trade unions committees, while participating in collective events organized by the Spartak Central Council.


VSS Spartak was awarded Order of Lenin (1937).


Since the revival in 1991.

  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan (1996) (website)
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Russia (1991)
  • Ukraine (1992) (website)

Notable members (one per sport)[edit]


  1. ^ В СССР основано добровольное спортивное общество «Спартак».
  2. ^ Спортивное общество "Спартак": история и традиции. RIA News. April 19, 2010.
  3. ^ Society's structure

External links[edit]