Mass sport development in Eastern Kazakhstan

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

Uanbayev Erkin, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Uanbayeva Farida, East Kazakhstan State Technical University in honor of D. Serikbaev, Kazakhstan

Physical culture and sport policy plays an important role in Kazakhstani reforms. The policy has the following goals: promotion of physical and mental health, elimination of drug abuse, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, as well as contribution to patriotic education.

The aspects of sport policy have been formulated in a number of laws, programs and strategies. In his Address to the People of Kazakhstan, President Nazarbayev stated that one of the targets for the strategy aimed at transforming Kazakhstan to the 50 most developed countries in the world is to ensure that it takes the 22nd place in the world in sports.

The State Strategy “Kazakhstan – 2030” includes a target emphasizing healthy life-style promotion aimed at popularization of physical exercise, healthy food habits, avoiding use of drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, and mass observation of standards of hygiene and sanitation [1]. The constitution of Kazakhstan provides for people’s right for rest and health promotion, including sports [2].

The Address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to the People of Kazakhstan “New Decade – New Economic Growth – New Possibilities for Kazakhstan” (January 29, 2010) sets the goal to bring the number of people involved in sports on a regular basis up to 30 % [3]. This target practically resulted in the development of two kinds of sports: mass recreational sport and professional. These two kinds of sports are closely connected to each other. The more developed recreational sport is, the more athletes of a high quality the country has.

Mass recreational sport develops at a different rate in different regions of the country. For instance, the number of people involved in physical exercises on a regular basis in East Kazakhstan is 15.6 % in rural areas and 16,2 % in urban areas.

As for the professional sports participation, only 28% of rural youth and 15.7% of urban youth are the members of professional sport clubs. The main reasons for this low involvement are public misunderstanding of sport’s role in health promotion and insufficient work of specialists in physical culture and sport.

The difference in the number of professional athletes in Russia and Kazakhstan comprises 2.5% in favor of Russia. However Prof. Zh.K. Kholodov criticized the statistics, saying that the difference emerged as a result of classification of children and teenagers studying in sports schools as professional athletes [4]. His research indicates that the number of students in Russian sports schools is the following: 70,6% - elementary groups, 27.1% - specialized groups, 1.7% - the groups of advanced sports studies, and 0.45% - the groups of outstanding sport proficiency. Kazakhstan has a similar situation.

Recently, the system of the rural administration of physical culture and sports has been organized to develop mass sport in rural areas. The non-government association “Zhiger” has been organized and has established a sports and cultural center in every village. According to the laws of market economy, the laws “About Public Associations”, “About Physical Culture and Sports” the given centers are financed through business organizations and native entrepreneurs from the villages.

One of the peculiarities of the sports and cultural centers is the fact that all children are examined in the centers. Teachers of Physical Education at schools observe children and identify their inclinations for a particular kind of sport and then send them to the center. In the center children are examined once more. Thus, all rural children are involved and talented children are not ignored. In the centers, children get training and then are sent to the institutions of higher rank such as sports classes, local sports schools, and Republican sports schools. With the help of this mechanism all talented rural children are given the access to sports, especially Olympic kinds.

As a result of the above-mentioned research the number of sportsmen increased considerably. For instance, in 2008-2009 the number of sportsmen in Ulanskiy rayon increased by 5% and comprised 20% of the total population.

The rural program helped to solve the following problems:

- The rural system of physical culture and sports administration was examined and consolidated;

- Pedagogical and organizational conditions to assure the effectiveness of the model were identified;

- Main goals of physical culture and sports development in rural areas were explained to the population;

- The potential of the rural economy for financing sports activities were examined;

- The challenges of the development of rural sports associations (“Zhiger”, “Sports and Cultural Center”) were identified and discussed;

- During the implementation of the given model the following areas of concern were determined: inadequate healthy life style promotion in the media; problems with staff recruiting; insufficient material and technical support of the mass sport and professional sport in rural areas.

Given the current economic conditions, the following main pedagogical and organizational requirements were identified as necessary to assure the effectiveness of the model in East Kazakhstan:

- Facilities and equipment should meet modern standards;

- There should be a greater supply of professional trainers and specialists in rural areas;

- Incentives should be created for greater involvement of rural business in sports development area;

- Rural Akims (Governors), Heads of the Educational Departments, school principles should be more actively involved in organization of sports events and health promotion programs.

The rural program was subsequently evaluated. The practical contribution of the evaluation consisted of the fact that the system of physical culture and sports administration and organization were observed and suggestions for improvement were made. Numerous lectures and workshops on the topic ‘Organization of Physical Culture and Sports in Rural Areas in the Market Economy’ were held at higher educational institutions of Kazakhstan to increase the professional level of full-time and part-time students of the ‘Physical Culture and Sports’ faculties. Similar workshops were conducted for Teachers of physical education, for Heads of Rural Education Departments, Heads of Rural Tourism and Sports Departments, and local Akims. The given topic was also introduced into the course for students of higher educational institutions. Recommendations for the organization of “Sports and Cultural Centers” and sports public association “Zhiger” in rural areas were provided.

The problem of sports development in cities and towns is also very important. The number of people involved in sports on a regular basis in such large cities of East Kazakhstan as Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey comprises 10,9% and 15,8%, respectively. The reasons for the low level of involvement are the following:

- Lack of sports facilities, stadiums, etc.

- Lack of professionals for organization of sports activities or their inefficient work;

- Competition is the only kind of mass sport development events;;

- Absence of accountability of the officials responsible for the given area to the Akims or their wrong reporting;

- Lack of system of sports groups organization among citizens. For instance, in Ust-Kamenogorsk there are 37 community clubs visited by 4000 children and teenagers, but there are no adult community clubs.

Taking into account these facts “The Department of Physical Culture and Sports of the Akimat of Ust-Kamenogorsk” developed the program “Mass Sport Development in Ust-Kamenogorsk”. A public Sports Council of Ust-Kamenogorsk was founded to organize sports events for pupils and students, statesmen, medical workers and teachers, and citizens. The Public Council has the following objectives:

- Development of mass sport by means of training and refresher courses, conducting workshops, and issuing special methodical and organizational booklets;

- Creation of sports centers at companies and enterprises with the appointment of responsible individuals to supervise their operation;

- Building of sports camps on river banks and outdoors to let people to attend sports any time of the year;

- Construction of enclosed tennis courts, soccer, volleyball and basketball grounds, mini gyms in basements with the appointment of responsible people.

Mass sport in Kazakhstan can easily be developed with the help of a purposeful and responsible approach. By using this approach people’s healthy life style will be promoted, as well as labor efficiency and economy development. The athletes of Kazakhstan will be able to win at the Asian and Olympic Games.


1. Nazarbayev N.A. Kazakhstan – 2030: The Address to Kazakhstan people. N.A.Nazarbayev. Almaty: Kazakhstan, 1997 – p.256

2. Kazakhstan State Constitution

3. Nazarbayev N.A. ‘New Decade – New Economic Growth – New Possibilities for Kazakhstan’ excerption from the Address to Kazakhstan people on January, 29, 2010.

4. Zh. K., Kuznetsov V. S. Theory and methodology of physical education and sport. –M.: Asedema, 2003. – p. 478.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

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