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Cambridge Central Asia Forum



In September 2017 Ashgabat will host the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games; attracting 5,500 athletes from the 62 National Olympic Committees of Asia and Oceania to participate across 21 sports.

This is a historic moment for the country, as Ashgabat 2017 will be the first major multi-sport event to be hosted in Turkmenistan. The vision after these games will be for the city of Ashgabat and the wider country to host future major sporting events at an international level.

In 2010, the Olympic Council of Asia, the National Olympic Committee of Turkmenistan and the administration of Ashgabat city signed an agreement to stage the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in September 2017.

In November, the construction of the largest sporting complex in the Central Asian region started in the Turkmen capital. This complex includes over 30 different facilities, including competition venues, accommodation, transportation and other infrastructures. In January 2013 President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov established the Organising Committee for the preparation of the Games.

In addition to Asian countries, for the first time in the history of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Oceania was included in the Games, bringing the participating countries to 62.

There will be 21 sports included in the Games. In addition to the 19 sports originally involved in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Turkmen national wrestling Goresh, and Equestrian Jumping were added to the competition schedule. The proposal was accepted by the Olympic Council of Asia and jointly approved.

The games will highlight to the world the importance of Turkmenistan while showcasing both tradition and modern artifacts and buildings, with a brand that takes us on a journey along the silk route and a Mascot that is distinctive and unique to Turkmenistan.

 The Ashgabat 2017 brand has been created using take on traditional design to represent Turkmenistan journey from the past to the future through health, inspiration, friendship along the great silk road.

The Ashgabat 2017 Mascot is based on the Turkmen national dog, the Alabai. He is a fun and endearing character who will help to spread the message of the games and welcome people of all ages to Turkmenistan.

Under the guidance of the President of Turkmenistan, the Executive Committee of the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan and the Central Council of the Youth Organization of Turkmenistan held a contest entitled "Sport - the pursuit of excellence" to select the motto for the Games.

The competition was organised to incentivise professional sport amongst young people and to support mass participation in sports and fitness in the country, while also promoting patriotic education. The concept of this campaign was to promote the ideas of peace and humanism in contemporary society, the principles of good­neighbourliness, friendship and brotherhood among people, as well as the unifying and consolidating role of sport.

The competition had a lot of interest from different parts of the country and many proposals were received by citizens of all ages. The selected winning proposal, approved by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, was Health. Inspiration. Friendship, submitted by Kumush Allabaeva, a teacher of the department of languages at the Turkmen State Institute of Architecture and Construction.

 The infrastructure of the complex is formed around the existing Olympic stadium, in a central area of the capital, ensuring easy access to all facilities of the complex.

With great vision, the Ashgabat Olympic Complex has been designed and built to provide not only the best sporting venues for a broad range of sports, but also first class spectator facilities and services and a level of Broadcast and Media infrastructure which is unparalleled in the region and possibly the world.

 Broadcasting from the Ashgabat Olympic Complex has been made easy by the clever design and construction of technical infrastructure. This allows broadcasters to use the facilities at many venues without the need to bring in large broadcast vans, which is the most common method, but to simply plug necessary equipment into the to the permanent circuits in the complex, and, using the integrated production studios, to broadcast live in Turkmenistan or internationally. This is leading edge thinking and technology.

National higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan are located next to the Ashgabat Olympic Complex: Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management, Institute of Culture, the State Border Service Academy of Turkmenistan and the National Institute of Sports and Tourism. This will enable the sport facilities to be used in the future as an educational and training base for these universities.

The creation of top range indoor sports facilities and equipped with special-purpose equipment will provide year-round opportunities for the local community.

The 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games Athletes’ Village, which will host around 5500 athletes, 1,750 team officials, over 700 dignitaries, 1,170 technical officials, will also be located within the Olympic Complex, is only a short walk from most the competition and training venues.

Two 5 star hotels are also based on the complex and will host 800 members of the OCA family, 350 members of the press and 600 Broadcasters.

The first group of volunteers who will serve the Games was formed in 2014 and an initial training session was organised by Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Education and the Executive Committee at the National Institute of Sports and Tourism.

A group of Turkmen volunteers was also sent to Baku (Azerbaijan), for the first European Games held in June 2015, where they were involved with competitions in various sports venues, Athlete’s Village operations and in the department of doping control.

Currently volunteer centres are organized and successfully operate in several universities of Turkmenistan.

All volunteers at 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will be university students and the majority will be between the ages of 18-22 however there will be a few exceptions including a youth programme (16-18 year olds) which will be via the National Federations of Turkmenistan.

In preparation to host the first international multi-sport event to take place in Turkmenistan, the Ashgabat 2017 Executive Committee will hold a Games Academy for existing employees and new recruits.

The Ashgabat 2017 Games Academy is an innovative recruitment and development programme for Turkmen nationals. The Games Academy Learning Programme will develop the skills and Games knowledge of the Executive Committee’s employees as part of a lasting legacy to develop sports events leaders of the future.

The Games Academy will recruit 400 people to fulfil key roles within the Executive Committee, who will be mentored by leading international experts and receive on- the-job training in the planning and operations involved in delivering a major event

In May 2016, the organising committee hosted the Asian Sambo Championships for approximately 400 participants from 17 NOCs. Turkmenistan came first in the event, closely followed by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The 3x3 Basketball test event took place on 5-6 November 2016 and the Ju-Jitsu test event on 7-12 December 2016. These events have been important milestones to help test the venues, refine operational plans and provide training to volunteers.

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