Uzbekistan: Soul-Soothing Ice

The belief that Uzbekistan is far from winter sports is no longer in vogue.

Uzbekistan has long fallen out of the list of countries - active participants in major competitions in winter sports. But now the nation is building a modern ice complex, HUMO, owing to which experts anticipate the country’s return to ice sports contests. But it’s one thing to construct a sports facility; is there anyone to train there? All doubts on this score dispelled at a remarkable event that took place a few hours before the onset of 2018.

Skates, sticks, helmets and other equipment of the hockey player made up presidential gifts that were presented to children practicing at the amateur ice hockey club Binokor and the Ice Sports Development Center of the HUMO.

“2017 will be remembered with many initiatives in the field of development of winter sports in Uzbekistan. Fans of these types of sports happily welcomed the start of construction at the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of a professional sports arena, HUMO, for the advancement of winter sports, the decision to build ice palaces in all regions of the country, the creation of four federations for winter sports, including hockey. Handing presidential gifts to young hockey players is also an important undertaking. All this inspires children and us, adults, the certainty that winter sports in Uzbekistan have a great future. Undoubtedly, all this contributes to the popularization of hockey among kids. We have already felt that the number of parents who want to send their children to the sports training clubs for hockey is significantly increasing,” Shukrilla Karimov, secretary general of the Uzbek Hockey Federation, shared his thoughts.

In the coming years, the policy will capitalize on the development of children’s and youth hockey. According to Karimov, it is essential to create several teams in the shortest possible time. It is important in that that they can play with each other and gain experience. Over time, it is planned to set up a junior team, which will represent the nation at international competitions. Thus, young promising hockey players will grow over time, potent teams will be formed.

In the future, the personnel is projected to be trained in colleges of the Olympic reserve and at universities. In the meantime though, specialists are expected to be groomed from among those currently practicing amateur hockey. But this does not mean that everyone will be admitted to coaching. Candidates will be trained and certified in accordance with the requirements established in the country. It will be specialists who know not only hockey, but also have passed the guidance necessary for conducting the instruction and educational process.

In the revival of professional hockey, Uzbekistan will be actively assisted by athletes who played in the professional hockey club Binokor, who now work in Russia and Belarus in coaching positions. Representatives of the Hockey Federation have already negotiated with many of them, and they are said to be willing to support Uzbekistan in its gracious endeavors. In cooperation, it is planned not only to train coaches and judges, but also to organize training camps for young pupils abroad.

While new teams are being formed, tournaments will be held between those already set up. And by 2020 it is intended to arrange for the championship of Uzbekistan among club teams in five age categories from 7 to 16, and starting from 2022 - in the category of youth teams. The plans of the federation include the organization of regular team trips for participation in international tournaments.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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