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National Universiade to Check Readiness for Winter Universiade 2017

Kazakhstan’s National Universiade, a nationwide university sport competition taking place Feb. 6–13 in Almaty, will help test out preparations for the 2017 World Winter Universiade also to be held in that city, said Director of the Winter Universiade Organising Committee Asset Abdualiyev.

Abdualiyev stressed that one of the main goals of holding the National Universiade is to check the readiness of sport facilities intended for the 2017 Winter Universiade. The functioning of volunteer corps, food and transportation systems and other service organisations will also be tested during the national games.

“Holding the National Universiade is a significant event, particularly because competitions will be held at almost of all the Winter Universiade’s facilities,” Vice Minister of Education and Science Takir Balykbayev said at a press conference at the Almaty Branch of the Central Communications Service Feb. 3.

More than 1,000 students from 35 universities in Kazakhstan are taking part in the National Universiade. The closing ceremony of the National Universiade will be held at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace on Feb. 17. The competition includes 10 events: cross-country skiing, presidential combined competition, alpine skiing and skating, ski jumping, biathlon, orienteering, snowboarding, short-track skating and ice hockey.

“The winners of the competition will join the 28th World Winter Universiade in Almaty,” Balykbayev said.

Accreditation of delegations from countries participating in the 2017 Winter Universiade began Jan. 29, and online accreditation to participate in the event has been launched on the event’s official website,www.almaty2017.kz.

“Around 2,000 sportsmen from 55 countries are expected to attend the event. We are forecasting the arrival of 30,000 foreign guests and tourists. Three thousand volunteers from various regions of the country will be involved in the event,” noted Abdualiyev.

Official invitations for participation in the Winter Universiade were sent to 170 National University Sports Federations in foreign nations and to all members of the International University Sport Federation (FISU).

“The Universiade is, first and foremost, a social project, which will give impetus to the development of mass sport in the city and will provide jobs for citizens,” said Akim (Mayor) of Almaty Baurzhan Baibek.

“Within the last three months, the Organising Committee has made a lot of progress towards the preparation of the Winter Universiade, mainly in setting up a concrete action plan for the organisation. The organisation has been reinforced with young and enthusiastic people who are devoting their time to holding a successful 2017 Winter Universiade. Nevertheless, it is necessary to mention that there are a lot more tasks ahead which must be accomplished to make the sport venues ready and also to finalise business partners for a number of services, following the FISU requirements. We all hope that these vacancies will be very soon covered by the Organising Committee for the success of this national project,” FISU Winter Universiade Director Milan Augustin commented following the results of his five-day visit to Almaty in February.

Abdualiyev thanked the FISU for its recommendations on organising the event.

“One year is left before the start of the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty. Now all government institutions of Kazakhstan are involved in the preparation of the international competition. There is a Supervisory Board chaired by Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva. There is full support from the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan, and also from the Almaty City Administration, led by the akim. We are sure that with the assistance of the FISU and the assistance of state agencies, all organisational issues regarding hosting the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty will be solved,” Abdualiyev emphasised.

During an official business trip to New Delhi, delegates from the Winter Universiade Organising Committee met with the management of India’s National University Sport Federation (NUSF) and attended to the SATTE Travel Mart tourism exhibition, the biggest annual expo in India. The Indian NUSF approved its participation in the 2017 Winter Universiade.

THE ASTANA TIMES