Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony of the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku

16 april 2014, 20:15
Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony of the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku

The National Gymnastics Arena opened in Baku

The opening ceremony was attended by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva.

Large-scale activities aimed at creating a modern sports infrastructure have been taken in the country in recent years, as new sports facilities are built and put in operation. Currently Azerbaijan is one of the leading sporting nations of the world and an active participant in the international Olympic movement. The development of all sports is the constant focus of the President of Azerbaijan. More than 40 Olympic sports centers fitted with the most modern equipment have already been built in the capital Baku and regions. The major overhaul of the existing sports centers further enhances the country’s capacity to conduct international competitions.

Thanks to the comprehensive attention being paid to the development of sports in the country, Azerbaijani athletes represent their country in prestigious global competitions and Olympic Games and achieve a growing number of successes each year. The implementation of important world-class projects in preparation for the upcoming inaugural European games due to be held in Baku in 2015 will make a great contribution to the creation of a modern sports infrastructure in the country. The opening of the National Gymnastics Arena, the foundation of which was laid in a ceremony attended by President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, will play an important part in the further development of the sport.

The great strides made in recent years by the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, which brings together four sports – gymnastics, men's gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics and tumbling – is closely followed by the global sporting community. All these achievements have been made possible thanks to the leadership of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation. Thus, as a result of the activities of Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, who has been President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation since 2002, the sport has entered a new stage in its development in Azerbaijan.

In 2003, Baku hosted the first World Cup in rhythmic gymnastics and in 2005 the world championship in gymnastics. In 2007 and 2009, European championships were held in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani gymnasts have also made great progress in recent years. In 2003, Dinara Gimatova won the first national license for the Olympic Games in Athens, while in 2007 Aliya Garayeva became European champion in rhythmic gymnastics. In the world championship, our girls finished third in team standings. In subsequent years, Azerbaijani gymnasts successfully represented the country in Olympic Games.

Azerbaijan is currently preparing for the 2015 inaugural European Games. The construction of the National Gymnastics Arena, which is an important part of the measures to further strengthen the sports infrastructure in the country, opens up broad opportunities for the organization of this international sporting event at a high level.

President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the National Gymnastics Arena.

Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov informed the President about the work done. The façade of the building has a peculiar shape. There are screens on it representing interesting illuminative elements. One of the important features enhancing the value of the arena, which is designed primarily for gymnastics competitions, is the fact that it can be adapted to host other sporting events and competitions.

The gym consists of the competition and training sections. Depending on the scale of the competition, the number of seats in the main section of the arena can be increased from 5,000 to 10,000. The complex, built in accordance with international standards, has a press-center, a first aid station, a dance hall and a fitness gym, doping control rooms, offices, shops, cafés and utility areas. The sports facility, which is expected to become one of the best gymnastic centers in the world, also has a hotel.

The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is also actively engaged in extensive activities to attract the population to physical education and recreational activities, train national sports professionals and national teams, send them to international competitions and training sessions. The Federation develops relations with sports organizations of foreign countries and international sports organizations.

President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva were familiarized with the competition hall and observed gymnasts in training.

The President and his wife were photographed with gymnasts.

Athletes also have excellent conditions here. The President of the European Gymnastics Union has praised the conditions available at the arena. The hall is fitted with the latest gymnastic equipment, which meets the recommendations of the European Gymnastics Union and the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.

In June of this year, the National Gymnastics Arena will host the European championship in rhythmic gymnastics, while on 19 April it will play host to the 21st Azerbaijan championship in rhythmic gymnastics. Gymnasts will compete for medals in all-around and individual events. The tournament will also feature performances of gymnasts from Hungary and Kazakhstan, who are training in Baku. The national championship in gymnastics, which carries the function of a test tournament for the European championship in rhythmic gymnastics due on 13-15 June, has further enhanced interest in the competition. In addition, as part of the first European Game in 2015, there are plans to hold a competition in six gymnastic categories, while in 2019 the world championship in rhythmic gymnastics where licenses for the 2020 Olympic Games will be awarded.

President Ilham Aliyev was presented with the first copy of the book "History of the International Sports Press Association – AIPS”.

It was noted that this book is dedicated to the 90-year history of the organization and has been prepared jointly with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The first 18 pages of the book are devoted to the development of sport in Azerbaijan.

President Ilham Aliyev praised the work done and gave further instructions and recommendations.