“Accessible sports” project implemented in seven cities of Kazakhstan

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An equestrian complex is set to open in Nur-Sultan before the end of this year. The construction of the riding arena will allow better development of national and Olympic sports. Overall, more than 406,500 residents of the capital pursue an active lifestyle to date. Nina Khaikhan has long been combining physical therapy and tennis, and also practicing qigong. Furthermore, the pensioner got keen on Nordic walking from last year. Walking with poles for the city residents was organized free of charge as part of the ‘Accessible sports’ project. Everyone, regardless of age or physical fitness, can sign up for yoga classes four times a week. This sport is popular amongst the elderly.

“People are delighted and excited to come and train here. However, during bad weather, they lose enthusiasm and remain home. We have more than 20 people in our group who usually come on sunny days and enjoy the training. Some of them have medical contraindications. In this case, I prescribe individual exercises tailored specifically for them,” said a coach Zhadra Murzakhmetova.

The younger generation tends to choose more active sports, for example, martial arts. A nine-year-old Zhasmin will soon have a yellow belt in karate.

“I can hold my own if someone, for example, takes my ball away or harasses me. That’s why I like attending my karate classes,” noted Zhasmin Yessenbayeva, resident of Nur-Sultan city.

The ‘Accessible sports’ project was first launched last fall in the capital. Almost 20,000 people attended training before December 2021. Another six cities of Kazakhstan have joined the sports campaign since this spring.

“Residents of cities can attend training in the parks. Sports disciplines there include Nordic walking, running, karate, table tennis and fitness workouts. The classes are held three times a week. This project will work in winter, too, but indoors,” added Azhar Akhmetbekova, spokesperson for the Sports Directorate of Nur-Sultan.

Over 33 percent of the population in Nur-Sultan are actively involved in sports. This figure is expected to reach 35 by 2025. Now residents of the city have the opportunity to test themselves in 113 sports, 36 out of which are provided for people with special needs.