Dynamo, Spartak, Torpedo—the names of these Soviet sports clubs are already familiar to many Americans. But there are many more—17 in all—and between them they provide sports and physical culture facilities to virtually every citizen in the U.S.S.R.
The parent organizations of the sports clubs are the trade unions. Depending on the industry or profession in which he works, the Soviet sportsman is assigned by the union to his club; and each club services from six to 20 different unions.
The whole structure is supervised by the Soviet Committee for Physical Culture and Sport, located in Moscow, and its various branches in the Socialist Republics and the larger cities. The committee sets standards, recognizes records, arranges the big national and international meets and generally acts as a legislative and supervisory body for Soviet sports. City committees do the same on a more local level, and they occasionally provide additional facilities for recreation, where necessary.
Largest of all, and characteristic of most, is the Burevestniks, or Stormy Petrels. The Burevestniks have approximately 2 million members from 13 industries and their unions. The club has at its disposal 117 stadiums, 110 athletic halls, 119 winter sports centers, 45 water bases—for various aquatic sports—and hundreds of other miscellaneous bases where people can participate in whatever sports they are interested in. All expenses for these facilities are met by the fees that the various unions pay to the Burevestnik organization. In addition, like all the other clubs, the Burevestniks maintain a number of so-called children's sports schools, which cater to their members' children and for which the unions provide a special fund.
The yearly fee for members is three rubles—75� at the official rate of exchange, 10� at the free rate. They are given a list of facilities in their area, decide which sports they are interested in and proceed to participate. The necessary teachers and coaches are ready for them and all necessary equipment is available and free.