Uzbekistan pays great attention to the development and promotion of sports and physical culture. Over the years of independence the country has established an effective system of training of professional athletes, coaches and referees. The implementation of these objectives in every way contributes to promotion of healthy life-style, education of harmoniously developed young people, further development of physical culture and sports in the country.
An important legal basis for ongoing reforms in this area is the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Physical Culture and Sports” and other laws and regulations directed to involvement of people, especially young people, women and children, to physical culture and sports.
Young boys and girls, professionals of individual and game disciplines, are showing exclusive preparation and phenomenal skills at representative forums, eloquently confirm that they represent a country with a rich sports traditions. The results of the measures can be seen in the growing number of our fellow citizens who are involved in sports and won prizes at various international tournaments.
Since the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and till the London Olympics in 2012, from the Olympic Winter Games in 1994 in Lillehammer till the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, our athletes won 6 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals.
In 2014, at the XVII Summer Asian Games and II Paraasian Games held in the South Korean city of Incheon, our athletes have successfully defended the honor of the country. In the Asian Games 2014, 61 Uzbek athletes ranked among the winners, and at Paraasian games our compatriots 22 times rose to the highest step of the podium. In addition, 15 of our Paralympic athletes have already won the license to the XV Paralympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Today, the names of such outstanding and talented athletes as judoka Rishod Sobirov, canoeist Vadim Menkov, wrestler Artur Taymazov, tennis players Denis Istomin and Nigina Abduraimova, swimmer Sergei Pankov, gymnast Ulyana Trofimova and Oksana Chusovitina, athlete Svetlana Radziwill, soccer player Odil Ahmedov, boxer Elshod Rasulov, taekwondoist Dmitry Shokin, and of course, FIFA referee Ravshan Irmatov, and many others glorified Uzbekistan far beyond its borders.
The main work on the development of sport in the country is carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The Uzbek National Olympic Committee (NOC) conducts activity on further development of the Olympic Movement and participation of the local athletes in international competitions. In 1993, NOC became a member of the International Olympic Committee.
The Uzbek State Institute of Physical Culture provides training of physical education teachers and coaches. It annually teaches about 2 thousand students.
With the purpose of training of high-class athletes the work on improving the material-technical base necessary for the formation of future champions is continued. In particular, the Republican Specialized Children and Youth Sports School of Olympic Reserve on rhythmic gymnastics was established on the basis of Universal Sports Palace. Central Asian Judo Center, National Center of boxing and Sports complex of Taekwondo Association have been built. The established sports infrastructure of Uzbekistan has become a venue for major international competitions, including world and Asian boxing, taekwondo, wrestling, fencing and other types of sports.
The country has a strong focus on the selection of talented young athletes from among the pupils of sports clubs, teams and organization of training to improve sport skills, creation of necessary conditions for strengthening the sports reserve on the basis of further development of the high school of sports and colleges of Olympic reserve.
In this regard, Uzbekistan’s policy to expand the large-scale involvement of children in sports is especially important. It is rightly considered as the basis of a healthy and harmoniously developed generation. The country has created a unique three-stage system of conducting of sports competitions among pupils and students – “Umid Nihollari”, “Barkamol Avlod” and “Universiada”, which make an invaluable contribution to the training of gifted and talented athletes defending the honor of their country at international sports tournament and Olympic Games.
Establishment of the Fund for development of children’s sports, in accordance with the Presidential Decree in 2002, became an important step in the development of children’s sport. It’s main task is to assist in the implementation of state policy in the field of physical education and sport among children, awakening interest in sports among the younger generation, protection of young people from various harmful influences, upbringing them in the spirit of patriotism.
Since the establishment of the Fund, more than 1700 children’s sports buildings in the capital and regions have been constructed and commissioned. All of them are provided with sports facilities that meet modern requirements. 95300 sports sections carry on their activities there. In 2014, the country has held 9500 sports events, about 7000 of them – in rural areas. 1.8 millions juniors attended them.
The development of children’s sport in Uzbekistan gives appropriate results. In particular, in 2010, the national football team U-16 won the silver medal of the Asian Championship, and a year later they entered the top eight teams in the world championship U-17, which took place in Mexico. In 2012, Uzbekistan’s football team U-16 has achieved brilliant success when they gained a victory at the Asian championship.
In 2012, in competitions on synchronized swimming in Malaysia our girls won 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. In Malaysia teams of boys and girls from Namangan region took first place at the international competition on water polo.
Moreover, Shahida Zahidova, Sevara Babakulova and Gulsanam Yuldasheva won silver medals in synchronized swimming at the Asian Championship in Indonesia.
Nine-years old chess player Nodirbek Abdusattarov won the world championship on rapid chess in the city of Maribor (Slovenia), which involved about 2600 players from 126 countries.
In 2013, Nafisa Muminova became the first female chess player from Uzbekistan, who received the title of International FIDE Grandmaster. Her striking success went down in history of national sport.
Dilshod Choriev and Ramziddin Saidov have won gold medals at the Judo Asian Championship.
The year 2014 was the most successful. In August, Chinese city of Nanjing hosted II Summer Youth Olympic Games, which involved more than 3500 athletes from more than 200 countries. Our athletes have won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.
In September, three Uzbekistan’s athletes have won gold medals in the World Championship on universal fight which took place in Russia. Davron Salimov became the winner of the World Championship on hand-to-hand fighting. Men’s and women’s teams of Uzbekistan on water polo became the strongest among all the participants of the international tournament which was held in Thailand. Nine-years old Javohir Sindarov became world chess champion in Brazil. And the eight-years old Zarguna Ahrorkulova won the World Championships on karate-do in Minsk. “Gold” list can be continued.
In general, over the past years, the number of medals won by young athletes is steadily increasing. In 2005, the Uzbek young athletes won 18 medals (5 gold, 6 silver and 7 bronze), and in 2010 – 155 (82 gold, 41 silver and 32 bronze), but last year they were awarded 391 medals (126 gold, 105 silver and 160 bronze).
In 2015, from March 28 to April 7 the city of Sochi hosted an international football tournament among children’s teams, in which teams from Uzbekistan gained the first two places.
On May 1-3, 2015, more than 1800 representatives from 53 countries participated in the VI Karate-do World Championship in Georgia. Our karatekas received 8 different medals.
From June 25 to July 2, the Italian town of Abruzzi hosted an International competition on rhythmic gymnastics, where the representatives of Uzbekistan were awarded 8 medals.
The young athletes have achieved great victories thanks to a significant contribution of their coaches. In Uzbekistan, the work focusing on the training of trainers, particularly among women, is carried out. An effective system of promoting of their work is established. The number of coaches in 2015 comparing with 2003 increased by nearly 1.8 times, including female trainers – almost 6 times. Along with this the composition of professional coaching and teaching staff has been changed qualitatively – about half of them have specialized higher education.
The ongoing work in Uzbekistan on the development of sports is gaining recognition in the world. Visiting our country in 2013-2014, leaders and representatives of the Olympic Council of Asia, the Asian Paralympics Committee, International Federations of weightlifting, boxing, fencing, athletics and gymnastics, the International Union of wrestling, Asian Taekwondo Union, the World Anti-Doping Agency highly assessed the undertaken measures for development of the Olympic movement in Uzbekistan.
In June this year, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah paid a visit to Uzbekistan.
Eminent guests highly praised the quality of sports buildings and scale of projects in our country. According to them, all the more significant achievements of Uzbek athletes at the Olympic and Asian Games, world and continental championships are the result of the creative work.
For outstanding achievements in the development of sports and Olympic movement, the President of Uzbekistan was awarded the Medal of the International Olympic Committee. Also, for the profound contribution to the development of football in the country and in Asia, Islam Karimov was awarded by the Olympic Council of Asia.
Thus, thanks to scale transformations undertaken in the country, sport has become one of the most prestigious areas of activity, especially among young people. Names of talented representatives of Uzbekistan, who won prestigious international awards, are inscribed in the annals of the national and world sport.