Barys begins 10th KHL season with roster of fresh faces

ASTANA – Barys Astana will begin the regular season of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) on Aug. 24 without some of its key players: the snow leopards will play without longtime leader Brandon Bochenski, who has ended his storied KHL career; as well as leading centre Dustin Boyd, who moved to Dynamo Moscow.

Only Nigel Dawes remains of the former menacing attack line of Bochensky, Boyd and Dawes. Dawes, however, remains a very productive presence for Astana, scoring more than 30 goals in each of the past few seasons. He has quite rightly become the captain of the team.

Last season, Barys finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and defeated HC Traktor Chelyabinsk in the playoffs before losing to HC Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

The coaching staff of Barys headed by Belarusian specialist Eduard Zankovets goes hand-in-hand with taking charge of Kazakhstan’s national team. There, however, he fell short of his targets, missing out on promotion to the Elite Pool for 2018 when his team was overtaken by Korea, so his deal was not extended beyond the end of the season.


The team has a new coach: Yevgeny Koreshkov, 47, once a student from Kazakhstan’s own hockey school. He has overseen a busy summer of trading. Ten new faces give Barys’ roster a youthful look compared with past seasons, although there are experienced players among them, including Dawes and veteran Kevin Dallman, the KHL’s longest-serving defender from overseas. Those two, now naturalised Kazakh citizens and members of the national team, enjoy legendary status in Astana and will shoulder more responsibility than ever in the coming campaign.

Most of the new arrivals have been playing in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL), the league below the KHL in the post-Soviet area, or learning their trade in the Kazakh Championship.

However, there are two new imports, both from the American Hockey League (AHL). Linden Vey, 26, is a creative forward who arrives from Stockton Heat, the Calgary Flames’ farm-club. He has 138 NHL appearances under his belt, having made his big-league debut in Los Angeles before two seasons with Vancouver. He is joined by defenceman Darren Dietz. Now 24, Dietz showed potential as a powerful two-way defensive force in his youth, but has struggled to settle into a team since then. A somewhat nomadic spell in the AHL – punctuated by 13 NHL games for Montreal Canadiens – came to an end when he signed up for a move to Astana and a new challenge. Astana is also due to host the KHL’s All-Star Week of Hockey next January. In previous seasons, Barys’ attacking line played a big part in that event, but now it may be time for new candidates to play on home ice. Marty St. Pierre, a 33-year-old forward, could be the man to step up and assume some of the scoring responsibilities left by Bochenski and Boyd.


“In the pre-season tour, we looked at the young players who came to the team. In principle, we are pleased with all the newcomers,” said Koreshkov before the start of the season.

It is precisely such young talents that Kazakh hockey needs to develop, both for Barys and for the national team, as the country hopes for a memorable season, not just a week of glory in January.



Celtic FC crushes Astana 5-0, nearly eliminates its chances to advance in champions league

ASTANA – FC Astana suffered a major 0-5 defeat from Celtic FC in the first match of the UEFA Champions League playoffs on Aug. 16.

Photo credit: FC Astana press service

It was the second time the teams met in the Champions League. In 2016, FC Astana suffered a 1-2 defeat in Glasgow, following a 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan, and the Celts went through to the group stage of Europe’s main club tournament.

Astana faced some difficulties with its lineup before the most recent match. Defender Marin Anicic and forward Djordje Despotovic had to miss the match because of injuries.

Many in the world know that the Celtic Park is one of the noisiest stadiums in Europe, and the home team usually play very well at home. Celtic demonstrated it very well in the first match.

During the starting 30 minutes, Astana played head-to-head with the hosts. Then, however, following a cross by Celtic’s Tom Rogic, the ball ricocheted off Astana defender Yevgeny Postnikov and got into the goal. Astana soon had their own scoring chances but Junior Kabananga, Patrick Twumasi and Postnikov squandered them. In the first two cases, the Celtic’s goalkeeper Craig Gordon caught the ball, and the third shot, from Postnikov, following a corner pass, went above the gate. Celtic, on the contrary, used their scoring chances very well. At the end of the first half, Scott Sinclair outplayed Astana goalkeeper Alexander Mokin and scored the second goal.

In the second half, Astana FC again tried to counter-attack. Twumasi made another shot towards the target but missed. Kabananga passed by the opponent and went inside the penalty area but the ball ricocheted off the second defender’s foot and fell on the hosts’ goal from above. While the Kazakhs’ attacking attempts brought no fruit, Celtic scored three more goals – the second one for Scott Sinclair and another goal came from James Forrest, while the final one went in following another cross and ricochet – this time from the visiting team’s Igor Shitov.

With the final 5-0 score for Celtic, the chances of FC Astana advancing to the next stage are virtually non-existent.

“I think we made a lot of individual mistakes tonight, and the quality [of Celtic’s performance] played a decisive role. Almost every shot into our goal changed the score. I said many times there is a big difference between the championship of Kazakhstan and the European Cup tournaments. To be honest, I think my players did a [big] job before this match. Yes, the outcome of this match is very hard to accept. However, we need to improve the level of the national championship in order to play better in Europe. We will try not to lose in the home match. If possible, a win would also be a good result. We have excellent support from the fans. The team plays much better at home,” commented FC Astana manager Stanimir Stoilov.

The teams will meet for the second match of the playoffs in Astana on Aug. 22. The winning team will advance into the group stage of UEFA Champions League. The losing team will move into the group stage of UEFA Europa League.



Ironman 70.3 triathlon race to be held in Astana in 2018

ASTANA – The Ironman 70.3 world race will be held in Astana next year, President of the Kazakh triathlon federation Karim Massimov told the media during the July 29-30 Astana Asia Cup Open 2017 event.

“On behalf of the Kazakh Triathlon Federation, I would like to welcome all participants, and congratulate organisers and spectators on the opening of the first national open championship. Long distance triathlon is becoming more and more popular all over the world and our country is no exception. Just yesterday, here at the capital’s triathlon park, you could all see the stage of the Asian Triathlon Cup, which is held under the auspices of the International Triathlon Union (ITU). The further stage of development and popularisation of this sport in the country could be only holding competitions under the auspices of the Ironman race,” Massimov said at the opening of the event on July 29.

According to Massimov, the long-term agreement was recently signed with the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) to conduct the Ironman race series in the Kazakh capital.

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“Congratulations to all participants of today’s event! You have the rare chance to race along the route where the Ironman 70.3 will take place next year,” he said.

Some 200 athletes from more than 10 countries took part in the weekend event in Astana, according to the federation.

The Ironman 70.3, otherwise known as Half Ironman, is a long-distance, three-part triathlon race where 70.3 is the distance of the overall race in miles, which converts to 113 kilometres. The three parts are the swimming with 1.9-kiometre distance, cycling – 90 kilometres and running – 21 kilometres.

London 2012 Olympic Champion in cycling Alexandre Vinokourov, currently the general manager of the Astana Pro Team, also took part in the race.

“The Half Ironman race is being held for the first time in Kazakhstan, so it was interesting to take part in it and support the sport in Kazakhstan,” he said as quoted by tengrinews.kz. “I gave it all I had. Swimming, of course, was hard for me, and, well, we [cyclers] seldom swim, so it went as it went. Cycling is my distance, it was easier, well, and running, we just ran. I finished the race in four hours and 23 minutes. For me, it is a good result,” the former Olympic champion added.

Vinokourov said it was his second triathlon race this year.

“My first race was in Dubai, today – here. I am glad for Kazakhstan, for Astana, that this movement is developing. Next year, we will already host the Ironman, so it’s great. My congratulations to the Triathlon Federation and Karim Massimov, they are really working hard. What’s more – no other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has the Ironman status. I think next year there will be a big celebration and a lot more participants. This encourages young people to do sports. We support this sport. I am always happy to support any kind of sporting event in Kazakhstan, especially triathlon. In the future, maybe, it will turn out to be a complete distance, but so far it’s only a dream.”

Ivan Tutukin from Russia won the race among professionals. The second to finish was Maxim Kryat from Kazakhstan and Viktor Zemtsev from Ukraine came in third.







Almaty’s FC Kairat to undergo significant changes, says team’s chairman

ASTANA – In a recent interview on the FC (Football Club) Kairat website, supervisory board chairperson Kairat Boranbayev lambasted the recent unsatisfactory results of the team and pledged to introduce changes for improvement.

Photo credit: FC Kairat press service

“Speaking about the attitude of players in the club and the results achieved, we can say that it was a ‘one-sided game’ in the last few years. From the club’s perspective, in the past four years all infrastructure conditions have been created for the improvement of skills and development of the players of the main team and academy; all obligations are clearly and honestly performed, but the result remains the same,” he said.

“It is quite obvious that such a development of events should end some day. It is clear that serious changes in football clubs usually occur in the off-season, but the current results have prompted the club’s management to change these traditions and begin to make changes right during the season,” he added.

The management was completely dissatisfied with the team’s performance and game plans in recent matches, noted Boranbayev.

“Secondly, there is the question of the appropriateness of serious economic infusions with chronic failure to fulfil the tasks that are set. It seems the team is infected with the ‘virus of defeat.’ Being recruited by Kairat, players think they’ve done well and relax but, as they say, ‘all good and free things’ end some day,” he said.

“So, we decided that it’s time to make more fundamental and serious decisions. We can’t continue playing this way – this type of management has to stop. This remaining part of the season will be the indicator that will show the attitude of the players to the club and who is worth what. Initially, in building all the infrastructure, we did not mean to create an unmotivated, unambitious and complacent team,” he added.

In the future, the management will select only players who strive to play for Kazakhstan, the city and the club’s emblem.

Boranbayev labelled the results of the recent matches as “extremely unsatisfactory.” He also made it clear the domestic championship’s trophy and achievements are not to be the final objectives.

“Whoever thinks that is on a completely different page from us,” he said. “Football players must clearly understand that they are, just as their coach, responsible for the results. The remaining matches of the season will be an opportunity for rehabilitation for those players who really want to connect their future with our team.”

“The vector of the club’s development will change very seriously; we will definitely part with those who don’t fit on the team. We have grown tired of investing in such ‘pseudo-players’ without the slightest impact and, at the same time, a negative atmosphere has developed around the team and the fans are unhappy with the results,” he added.

FC Kairat is in the process of reviewing its development strategy.

“We need footballers and personalities who want and are able to play football and not the ‘business people in football.’ Perhaps, and most likely, we will keep very few players, but only those around whom a new team will be built and made of passionate personalities who want to achieve something meaningful in football and not just wanting to stuff their pockets with cash,” said Boranbayev.

The club will focus on developing and training young players and Boranbayev indicated the club has already created all the proper conditions.

“We will give the opportunity to young Kazakh players in the first team to grow, which will be an incentive for their development and, as a result, will further improve the quality of the players of the national team,” he said.

For more than a year, the club has been looking for a head coach with experience working with young teams.

“Of course, we continue to count on the support of our fans and are convinced these changes will lead the club to systemic changes and qualitative achievements,” said Boranbayev.



Kazakh team rider takes fifth in Tour de France

PARIS – Captain of Astana Pro cycling team Fabio Aru finished the world-famous Tour de France race in fifth place overall.

Photo credit: cyclingnews.com

Aru’s finish follows a particularly challenging Tour for the Astana team. The race began well with Aru winning the direct stage and capturing the yellow jersey early. However, difficulties quickly mounted for the Astana racers. After one of the early stages, Dario Cataldo and Jakob Fuglsang, who were expected to perform as Aru’s primary support, could not continue the race. Team leader Alexei Lutsenko was also seriously injured and was unable to mount a successful attack near the end of the Tour.

“Basically, I think we did well, taking into account the circumstances. We lost Jakob Fuglsang and Dario Cataldo. However, the guys still worked at the maximum. We took the stage, took the yellow jersey. If it was not for Fuglsang’s fall, I think the result would have been different, at least, at the mountain stages. I am glad that Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev noticeably improved. Alexei Lutsenko, despite the fall, managed to return to the race and fought till the end. We all saw his attacks in the Pyrenees. I think that Kazakh riders are improving. Dmitry Gruzdev coped well with his task. Well, as for Andrei Zeits, we saw him real here. As always, it’s nice to look at him, he works and helps the team,” said team General Manager Alexander Vinokurov.

Despite the challenges, one high note was that Astana took part for the first time in the Grand Tour, having four riders for Kazakhstan in the lineup. Zeits, Lutsenko, Gruzdev and Kozhatayev showed the level of Kazakh cycling has reached a new level.

“I think that the results of the last Tour de France were positive for the Kazakh team. When our captain Fabio Aru put on the yellow jersey, everyone thought that the victory was so close. But this is sport. Anything can happen. One of the main minuses was the loss of two of our riders during the competition. This was a real blow to the whole team. Both Fuglsang and Cataldo were great members of the Astana team. It is good that four Kazakhs in the team passed the race till the end. The two of them were in the lead at the last stage in Paris, thus proving that we have a future in cycling,” said President of the Cycling Federation of Kazakhstan Darkhan Kaletayev.

This year’s Tour finished with the traditional “stage of friendship,” when the favourites of the overall standings do not compete. Another tradition of the “stage of friendship” is the sprint finish. Each year there are many who want to break this tradition and deceive the sprinters with a late attack from the main group. Vinokurov once managed to do it. Lutsenko and Gruzdev tried to repeat his achievement at the last stage of the last race, but a few kilometres before the finish the main group caught up with them.

British rider Christopher Froome won Tour de France in the overall standings. This is the fourth yellow jersey in his career. The runner up was Colombian Rigoberto Uran with third place going to Romain Bardet.



Astana Arlans win record third WSB title

ASTANA – In a dramatic comeback, the Astana Arlans defeated the Cuba Domadores 6-5 July 15 to end the World Series Boxing’s (WSB) seventh season. With the win, the Arlans earned a record third title to become the league’s most decorated team.

The first bout ended well for the hosts with a win by Temirtas Zhusupov (49 kg). Ilyas Suleimenov (56 kg) extended the team’s initial lead by defeating Javier Ibanez. The next two bouts ended better for the Cubans, as the visitors levelled the score by defeating Anton Pinchuk and Dilmurat Mizhitov.

Abilkhan Amankul took on Arlen Lopez in the 75 kg category. The fight was tense and close, but the judges decided the Cuban was stronger. In the 81 kg bout, Kazakh boxer Arman Rysbek fought Julio La Cruz, one of the visiting team’s most decorated boxers, and the latter’s win doubled the Domadores’ lead. Astana captain Olzhas Sattybayev’s (52 kg) loss to Josbani Veitia made the score 5-2 and the visitors needed only one win in the three remaining bouts to claim the triple champion’s title.

A glimmer of hope for the hosts came when heavyweight Olzhas Bokayev defeated Yoandris Toirac. The Arlans then managed to level the score in the next two bouts, as Zakir Safiullin and Aslanbek Shymbergen secured confident wins over their opponents.

The 5-5 tie required an additional decisive bout. Olzhas Bainiyazov fought Frank Zaldivar and by decision of the judges, the Kazakh boxer earned the
win and the Arlans’ record-breaking title.

“It was a special evening of boxing, which will remain in our memory forever. I congratulate the Kazakh team on the win. Being at a disadvantage, the Arlans managed to reverse the situation and win, showing real will-to-win spirit. Never give up. I also want to thank the Cuban boxers for the excellent fights. The Cubans were also winners today, because they gave the fans a spectacular show,” said International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) President Wu Ching-kuo.

The final was the fourth for the Arlans in the past seven years. The team was the runner-up in 2011, then became WSB champions in 2013 and 2015 and now in 2017. The Domadores won the title in 2014 and 2016.

The WSB sees the world’s best amateur boxers compete in teams without headgear using the AIBA scoring system. According to the WSB website, the establishment of the league “reunited the broader boxing world and its grassroots amateur foundation by providing a bridge between Olympic Boxing and a future professional programme within the AIBA family.”

AIBA wholly owns WSB. All WSB boxers are registered with AIBA and all referees and officials working WSB matches are specifically certified for the competition. Franchises have a national identity and are formed by national federations. Teams are allowed a quota of overseas boxers: a maximum of eight and no more than three of the same nationality.

Teams compete in the 10 AIBA standard weight categories. The regular season takes the form of a league phase, with the teams facing each other home and away in alternating weight categories. The top teams continue to the playoff stages. Teams representing franchises across the globe compete in a league format leading to playoffs and a final. The boxers compete in five three-minute rounds and five bouts per match.




Astana to host SCO and CICA International Athletics Marathon

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, will host Aug. 27 the International Athletics Marathon of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The large-scale race is part of the celebrations of SCO Day at EXPO 2017.

The presentation of the upcoming marathon took place July 10 at the headquarters of the People’s Daily, China’s largest newspaper, in Beijing. SCO General Secretary Rashid Alimov, CICA Executive Director Gong Jianwei and Chairman of the Sports and Physical Culture Committee of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Sports Elsiyar Kanagatov took part in the ceremony.

“EXPO 2017 kicked off June 10 in Kazakhstan’s capital, where the SCO pavilion is open along with more than 100 other pavilions. We made a decision to designate Aug. 27 as SCO Day at the expo. With the support of Kazakhstan’s government, we decided to mark this day with a mass sport and cultural event – an international marathon. It can unite the energy of Shanghai and sport spirit better than other events. We have no doubt the Astana marathon continues the good tradition laid down by the first SCO marathon in Kunming,” noted Alimov. “We still remember the moments of the SCO marathon on Dec. 17, 2016, in the city of eternal spring, when nearly 16,000 athletes from 23 countries came to the start,” added Alimov.

Kanagatov also pointed out the importance of the marathon for the expo and Kazakhstan in general.

“This marathon is organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports [of Kazakhstan], the International Athletics Federation and the SCO. Our race will have three distances – 42 and 10 kilometres and, symbolic for this year, 2,017 kilometres. I think we will have more than 5,000 participants, including more than 1,000 foreign athletes. The marathon will contribute to the promotion of our country and demonstrate the development of sports in the country. Most importantly, it is about the image of expo, our country and our capital,” informed Kanagatov during the presentation.

The marathon will start at 8 a.m. Aug. 27. The route, which was approved by the International Athletics Federation, goes through the main streets of Astana’s left bank.

Online registration for the Astana marathon will open July 15.

Chinese national television plans to broadcast the race live.

The marathon will be held along with the CICA forum scheduled for August in Astana. CICA turns 25 years old later this year.



Astana Pro Team cyclist Fabio Aru second overall after nine Tour de France stages

ASTANA – Italian cyclist and Astana Pro Team member Fabio Aru and Danish teammate Jakob Fuglsang recently climbed to second and fifth respectively in the overall standings following the ninth stage of the Tour de France.

Photo credit: www.astanaproteam.kz

The 23-stage, 3,540-km race is winding its way from Düsseldorf through Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg to the French capital and will include two individual time trials, five mountain, five mid-mountain, and nine plain stages. Chris Froome of Team SKY was the overall leader at press time.

Aru also won the fifth stage, covering 207.5 kilometres between Mondorf-les-Bains and Vittel, in 3 hours, 44 minutes and 6 seconds.

“When I attacked, I realised that I would have to give it my all. The last 300 metres were incredibly hard. But when I looked back 200 metres before the finish, I understood that I would not lose on that day,” said Aru.

“We were setting our minds on this stage,” said Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexander Vinokurov. “It was the first mountain stage, which could have a big impact on the race for the yellow jersey. And the stage is well-suited for Aru. Besides, we really wanted to win to mark the upcoming Astana Day (on July 6) … It is a big day in our country and we dedicate this victory to all the people of Kazakhstan!”

The Kazakh-backed Astana Pro Team, part of the Astana Presidential Sports Club, features nine riders, four of which are Kazakh nationals who have shown themselves worthy of world-class competition.

“Almost 50 percent of the Astana Pro Team line-up (at the race) is made of Kazakh riders. It is a big step forward for us because the Tour de France is the most important cycling race in the world, watched by billions all over the world … We selected the best men to participate in the tour and I hope our athletes will show their real strengths and skills to secure their goals,” said Executive Director of Astana Presidential Club Amanbek Kulchikov.




Children learn to love sports at Derby Football Academy

ASTANA – Kids sports seem to be largely developing in Kazakhstan’s regions through the introduction of different activities. Enthusiasts from Kostanai created their own Derby Football Academy in their hometown and Kokshetau last year and are now getting ready to open another one July 15 in Karaganda.

“The idea of creation of the football academy belongs to me and my friend, Ilya Baigabulov. Together with him, we graduated from Kostanai Children and Youth Sports School back in 2004. Later when we were around 26 years old, we started thinking about the school with European standards. We wanted to bring something that was not present in Kostanai at that moment,” said Derby Academy of Children’s Football co-founder and director Miras Adambayev in an interview with The Astana Times.

The academy was launched in October 2016 and 40 children aged three-12 joined in the first month. The centres in the two cities now train 150 young athletes.

247BCriKUgAThe academy’s main coach is former FC Tobol head coach Sergey Maslenov, who has a coaching certificate from UEFA-PRO. He is assisted by four coaches and five assistants.

“For us, the main part was to gather a team of trainers. While recruiting them, the main criteria was not how they played football on the professional level or how they performed for the clubs. The main criteria was the love of children,” said Adambayev.

Derby Academy uses the Italian Football Federation youth club methodology, German Bundesliga programme developed in conjunction with Adidas and best practices of the Russian Football Union.

“By looking at different techniques, we found out that some exercises can be used for children from a young age,” said Adambayev.

“The main group of children are those who were born in 2010-2011. So, teaching them a new sport is almost the same as teaching them how to write. Children do not understand whether the method is Kazakh, Russian or European. When you show them something, they absorb it very quickly,” he added.

Local professional football players come to the academy to promote sports and show the participants they can also become professional athletes. The academy cooperates with FC Tobol and FC Okzhetpes and recently agreed with Karaganda’s FC Shakhter.

HsABfkTlJ1g“The trainings for the smallest children are conducted in game form; for instance, when trainers pretend to be pirates hunting for gold. We want children to love sports and football,” noted Adambayev.

Derby Academy’s strategic goal is to educate professional, competitive players and, as a consequence, replenish the domestic and European clubs with its students.

Derby is working on the main areas of Kazakh football development for 2016-2022, including improving the quality of training children en masse and increasing the centres’ effectiveness and number of regional academies, as well as growing the number of junior national teams and creating their operating conditions.

The training programme for children ages three-five includes a study of football basics and introduction to the game, developing basic skills such as coordination and interacting with the ball, physical activity and football with simplified rules. The presence of parents is mandatory.

Children aged six-eight train in football technique and tactics, as well as team moves, speed control and primary specialisation on the field, such as goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker. They also attend the professional football clubs’ master classes.

The monthly fee for the academy is 14,000 tenge (US$44) for eight sessions. All necessary information can be found at derbyacademy.kz.



Thousands join Alpiniada in Almaty mountains for Astana Day

ASTANA – On July 2, the residents of Almaty celebrated their annual Alpiniada at the Shymbulak Ski Resort outside the city.

Photo credit: sports.kz

The festival, a massive joint climb of a 4,376-metre peak called Nazarbayev Peak, marks Astana Day. This year, more than 5,000 people, including foreign tourists, took part, according to the Almaty Physical Culture and Sports Department official website.

“For the first time I have decided to climb to the top of the mountain, although I always liked the mountains. I am here on a business trip and my colleagues recommended me to attend this event. It is very interesting. I am planning to stay for another couple of weeks, ” said Sergey Sadovsky from Russia at the event.

Aigerim Zhumadilova from Astana said, “My aunt told me about this event. … I came from Astana to test my strength. It is hard for a beginner, but I regularly do dancing and athletics, so it helped me.”

Only 290 people actually made it to the highest point of the mountain. The absolute winners were two marathon runners who do sky running – high altitude or very technical mountain running. The fastest among men was Malik Abdu-Asset, who made it to the pinnacle in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Among women Aizhan Zhombatyr was the fastest with a time of 2 hours and 27 minutes.

At the finish line were entertainment programmes for participants and visitors at the ski resort.

Nursultan Peak is one of the highest and most beautiful peaks near Almaty, and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. It is always covered with snow, even when temperature surpasses 40 degrees Celsius in the city below.

The Sporttyk Almaty programme, a citywide initiative to develop mass sports in Almaty and popularise active leisure among young people, helped organise this year’s event. The Almaty Physical Culture and Sports Department and the Mountaineering and Climbing Federation of Almaty also supported the event.