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2020 N9-10(186-187)
Two new facilities were inaugurated in Ashgabat on Day of Knowledge and Student Youth of Turkmenistan, namely the administrative building of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Policy and the Faculty of Olympic Sports of the Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's personal participation in the official ceremonies emphasized the importance of not only this event but also all projects on development of the sports and educational sphere and improvement of the health of the nation, which is a guiding line of the state policy of Turkmenistan.
Moreover, the very concept of "the health of the nation" implies establishing a comprehensive national system for strengthening the physical, spiritual and moral health of the nation, raising public awareness of the principles of a healthy lifestyle and building a culture of people's caring attitude to their health.
It has taken less than two decades to decrease tobacco consumption in the country. Progress has been made in combating drug addiction and other bad habits. Teenagers with sports equipment rushing to various sports clubs is a familiar sight not only for the Turkmen capital. The young generation of citizens of the country opted for a healthy, active lifestyle. At the same time, not only young people joined the ranks of fans of the mass sport.
Going in for sports has become prestigious and even fashionable. Yet, changing people's minds required solving a number of complex issues - social, economic and educational. This is exactly what the Turkmen leader had in mind when in his speech at the opening ceremony of new buildings he said that "great efforts are made to promote the culture of a healthy life style."
This culture consists of many factors, including those providing for establishment of hygienic conditions for work and leisure, organization of proper nutrition, construction of healthcare, sanatorium, sports and educational infrastructure facilities. It is only the harmony of all these factors that can ensure enhancing attractiveness of the mass physical culture and sports - one of the indicators of the nation's health. "Our most important task is to popularize sports as a mass hobby and a healthy habit, as an essential condition for the physical improvement of the younger generations, as a factor in shaping the values of young people," the head of state emphasized.
This task is seen as a prerequisite for the implementation of the National Program on Support and Development of Sports and Physical Education for 2011-2020 and other state programs. The legal support to promote the mass physical culture movement and sporting excellence is no less important. This sphere is regulated by the laws of Turkmenistan "On Professional Sports", "On Volunteering". One of the fundamental legal documents is the Resolution of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on inviting foreign sports specialists to work in this field. In September this year, the new Law "On Physical Culture and Sports" came into force, and the national parliament continues improving that national legislation in this area.
Care of the healthy lifestyle of citizens is reflected not only in the national programs, laws, the scale of construction of medical institutions, sports facilities, development of a sanatorium-resort network, but also in the processes of public life, improving spiritual and cultural development of people, greening the industrial growth of the national economy.
Promoting the healthy lifestyle is supported by many activities, international forums and conferences, as well as spectacular physical culture and sports events organized during national holidays and celebrations. Among them are World Health Day and World Bicycle Day that are widely celebrated in Turkmenistan.
The annual national sports competitions at the school, university, industry and regional level provide a good incentive for young people on their way to health as well as physical and spiritual self-improvement. These competitions bring together thousands of Turkmen citizens under the motto "Turkmenistan is a country of health and high spirit." Mass bicycle rides have become traditional all over the country.
Considerable investments are being channeled into drawing more Turkmen citizens into sports, while the latest achievements of science and advanced technologies are being introduced into the sports infrastructure.
In the short historical period, multifunctional stadiums, sports facilities and special sports schools corresponding to the world standards have been commissioned not only in the cities but also in the villages of the country. The Ashgabat Olympic Village has no analogues in the region. It is now the decoration of Ashgabat and the pride of its residents. All facilities of this complex are noted for their expressive aesthetic appearance, and its most outstanding element - the artistic and monumental image of a horse rising above the main arena - was included in the Guinness World Records Book.
The Ashgabat Golf Club, as well as a multifunctional modern sports complex at the Avaza National Tourist Zone, motordromes, yacht clubs, fitness centers and other specialized facilities were built according to the best world standards.
Much has been done to bring the national equestrian sport to the international arena. Thanks to the selfless work of the head of state, the national horse-breeding industry has reached new heights. Unprecedented measures are being taken to modernize the material and technical base of equestrian sports, intensify international cooperation in this area and promote the Turkmen riding school.
Modern equestrian complexes have been erected in all regions of the country with the view of modernizing the horse breeding industry and developing equestrian sports, attracting and training young specialists: horse breeders, riders-jockeys, master-trainers.
The number of sport clubs, including for children, is growing in the country every year. Winter sports - hockey and figure skating - are becoming more and more popular. A few years ago, they were perceived as exotic, and nowadays, thanks to the growing international contacts in this area, Turkmen hockey players and figure skaters successfully participate in the international tournaments.
Representatives of the national figure skating school regularly participate in the International Children's Ice Dance Festival. Their medal arsenal includes the main prize in the category "Originality of production", a victory in the category "Best choreography", as well as other prestigious awards.
The Honored Coach of Russia, Elena Tchaikovskaya, together with Irina Rodnina, who is the ideological organizer of the above-mentioned festival and the legend of world figure skating, personally selected promising Turkmen figure skaters for study at the Russian sports schools and their preparation for international competitions.
There are already several hockey clubs in Ashgabat under the Hockey Federation of Turkmenistan. National championships are held on a regular basis. The Cup of the President of Turkmenistan is an important national tournament. The Turkmen hockey players' best achievement is their participation in competitions of such high international level as the VIII Winter Asian Games.
At the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan, the Turkmen national wrestling - Goresh, being an invaluable heritage and symbolizing the historical and cultural originality of the Turkmen people, becomes widely popular along with other sports and gains international recognition.
In close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and sports federations, many sports are developing in our country, including those that are new for Turkmenistan, such as automobile, water sports, curling, bowling, billiards.
The sports component is an indispensable condition in building all educational and preschool institutions that are fitted with modern well-equipped gyms, football, basketball and volleyball courts, swimming pools, tennis courts. Children's health resorts provide excellent conditions for active recreation. All these measures provide opportunities to ensure the all-round physical training of young Turkmen citizens and, at the same time, create a strong base for coaches in their search for new talents for sporting excellence and training the Olympic reserve.
Computer equipment, new technologies, interactive multimedia, digital educational methods are widely introduced in the operations of sports and health centers. After viewing equipment of new facilities inaugurated on September 1, the President of Turkmenistan instructed the Minister of Sports and Youth Policy to continue improving the technical base of sports centers that should not stay idle. Engaging as many people as possible in sports and health-improving physical education leads to development of the strong collective immunity, the head of state summed up.
Special attention is paid to training of staff - highly qualified specialists who are expected to raise the level of Turkmen sports to the new heights, create conditions for development of sports pedagogy and our own national school of mentoring in various disciplines. The Turkmen State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports is a "feeder" of such professional staff. It has got a new two-storey multifunctional complex of the Olympic Sports Faculty that will help strengthen the training base for Turkmen Olympians and highly qualified coaches.
Under the general plan of urban development which is quite popular in the country, a five-story dormitory with 450 beds, a recreation area, parking lots, bicycle and jogging tracks and other infrastructure facilities have been built in the territory of the institute.
Other than relevant sports equipment and special simulators, all large sports complexes of the country are fitted with innovative devices that show the physical and physiological conditions of sportsmen. High-precision functional diagnostics make it possible to adjust the intensity and duration of training loads and increase their effectiveness. The new facility is no exception. The scientific base of the "Olympic" faculty will provide opportunities for application of the high technology of medical, biological and psychological support of the educational and training process and methods of express diagnostics of sportsmen conditions.
The Turkmen leader noted that this multidisciplinary complex would serve as a basis for training of sportsmen of national and Olympic teams for the Olympic and Asian Games and other major high-level international competitions.
The Turkmen sportsmen's achievements give all the more reason for such confidence. They participate in many major international tournaments and win medals, including gold ones, in almost all competitions.
The Turkmen sportsmen's participation in the international sports movement is also increasing.
What is even more important is that Turkmenistan now ranks among the host countries of top sports events. The V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat at a high level in September 2017 is a striking example of this. Other high level sport competitions hosted by Turkmenistan include the off-road rally "Silk Way-2009", which was held at the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan, the International rally "Amul-Khazar" and the World Weightlifting Championship held in 2018. No less important is the CIS Cultural and Sports Festival of Schoolchildren at the Avaza National Tourist Zone on the Caspian coast.
These forums are also indicative in terms of promoting Turkmenistan's sports diplomacy. The well-known saying "Oh Sport, You are Peace!" coined by the founder of the Olympic Games of our time, Pierre de Coubertin, reflecting the humanistic message of the international sports movement, is particularly important in light of the neutral status of Turkmenistan and its peacemaking policy. According to the Turkmen leader, sport is not just about setting records and winning medals. It is a powerful unifying social force that goes hand in hand with culture, economy and diplomacy.
The health of the nation, development of the physical culture and sports movement in Turkmenistan, realization of its tourism potential are directly related to international cooperation.
"Supporting the sustainable development programs for the common good, our country cooperates substantively with the International Olympic Committee, the Asian Olympic Council, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture, as well as with various international and regional sports associations. Year by year, these relations keep enhancing the international reputation of our neutral Motherland," the head of state noted.
So, the physical training and sports activities initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov present an organic combination and joint efforts of the state and society and their clear understanding of the value of health and sport as the best way to improve health and achieve all milestones.
The President of Turkmenistan demonstrates by example the fact that sport is the path of health. He exercises regularly, practices jogging, rides a bicycle, plays hockey, drives sports cars and rides horses equally brilliantly. The head of state personally gives start to mass-sport events, tree planting campaigns and other events aimed at promoting the healthy lifestyle. The President of Turkmenistan established excellent traditions such as regular bike rides, bringing together thousands of sportsmen, and days without vehicles, raising people's awareness of their environmental responsibility.
In short, Turkmenistan has set up the philosophical foundations and defined the scientific-practical aspects of large-scale work for bringing up the healthy society in the country. Therefore, development of the mass physical culture and physical training movement and sporting excellence has been put in the path of a long-term national program. Physical activity multiplied by positive emotional and spiritual integrity presents a health formula that helps personal self-fulfillment, self-expression and development.


Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005