FISU President Backs Almaty To Host Future Major Events After 2017 Winter Universiade
International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin believes Almaty can use the 2017 Winter Universiade as a catalyst to host future major sporting events, reports KazWorld.info with reference to the website insidethegames.biz.
From 29th January to February 8th, student-athletes from all over the world between the ages of 17 and 28 flock to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to take part in Winter Universiade 2017.
The city is currently staging what is considered to be the biggest of its kind in the history of Kazakhstan, with competition due to end tomorrow.
It comes approximately one-and-a-half years after Almaty was beaten by Beijing in the race to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games by just four votes.
Despite that set back, Matytsin believes the 2017 Winter Universiade can provide a spring board for successful event bids going forward.
“Now they have very good sport infrastructure,” the Russian told insidethegames.
“Then, most importantly for me, they have the human resources.
“And the concept of the Universiade is a very good one from my point of view.
“They invited many foreign experts from FISU, from International Federations, from Russia, from the Olympic Games, and they are focused on how to create their national team for future events.
“Now I really see a growing level of the experience and knowledge.
“I believe for the future, they will be among those (cities) who organise multi-sport events at international level.”
Concerns surrounding preparations for the 2017 Winter Universiade were particularly prevalent in January of last year when the budget was slashed by nearly 50 per cent.
The reduction had raised fears about completing construction at competition venues on time for the event as it had forced tender processes to be delayed.
The decision was taken to slash costs surrounding Almaty 2017 from 32 billion tenge (£80 million/$99 million/€93 million) to 17 billion tenge (£42 million/$53 million/€49 million) due to concerns over Kazakhstan’s economy.
Matytsin admitted preparations were “not so easy”, but said a “very good event” has ultimately been delivered.
“Kazakhstan just lost its bid for the Olympics but it (the 2017 Winter Universiade) is demonstrating their great potential and great wish to be partners of the Olympic sport family,” he added.
“Under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr (Nursultan) Nazarbayev, there is a state policy about the youth – how to build the future for Kazakhstan through sport, how to educate people through sport and how to really create a real team.
“Now you see thousands of young people who have been part of a big team preparing the Games.
“Now they are proud about the Games and now I believe it will be a great legacy for many, many years.”