Month: December 2021

Network of Assyl Miras autism centres expands their activities in Almaty

The new building of the Assyl Miras Autism Centre is located at 122 Kunayev Street. Thanks to the expansion of the centre area, adaptation programmes will cover about 300 families a year. Bakytzhan Sagintayev visited the new centre and got acquainted with the work of specialists.

Sagintayev noted the contribution of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation to the solution of social issues of the city. The network of Assyl Miras autism centres has proved its effectiveness, becoming the role model of correctional work with autistic children. “Moving the centre to a new building will allow the institution’s specialists to help even more children,” said the Akim (mayor).

Assyl Miras in Almaty became the first autism centre opened by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation in 2015. Over the past 7 years, about 2.8 thousand children have been diagnosed for signs of ASD, about 1.5 thousand children have received qualified assistance. The centre works on six intervention programmes, each of which is aimed at identifying and eliminating deficits in social, verbal and everyday skills.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Akimat (administration) of the city of Almaty for supporting our programme from the first day of the centre’s existence. The new building provided by the city administration will allow for adaptation programmes to cover about 300 families raising children with ASD annually. Here, our specialists will help diagnose ASD, and if they detect that a child has a disorder, they will enroll the child in an appropriate programme to develop missing life skills,” said Dr. Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation.

The network of Assyl Miras autism centres, opened on the initiative of Bulat Utemuratov, currently successfully operates in 9 cities of Kazakhstan. It is planned to open centres in Taraz and Karaganda.

The significance of the philanthropist’s public activities as the founder of a charitable foundation and the president of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation is noted at the state level. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Bulat Utemuratov was awarded the second class Barys Order.


Kazakhstan Tennis Federation became a winner of Altyn Samǵaý-2021

The Altyn Samǵaý-2021 awarding ceremony was held on 12 December in Nur-Sultan. The National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan, together with fans, thus summarizes the results of the eventful year, reports INA “Kazinform” referring to

The Kazakhstan Tennis Federation became the winner in the “Best National Federation” nomination.

The winner was selected by the specially established commission under the NOC of Kazakhstan. The work was assessed by a range of criteria: contribution to the infrastructure development, intensity and level of organisation of competitions, international activity and, of course, sports achievements.

The Federation held 47 international and 28 republican tournaments in 2021. They continue to strengthen efforts to develop tennis in regions and children’s sports. At the same time, attention is focused on upgrading the qualifications of coaches and judges.


Make way forward soaring to heights! Kazakhstan Tennis Federation summed up 2021 results

The Kazakhstan Tennis Federation held its closing reporting conference on 8-9 December in Nur-Sultan. Heads of regional branches, tennis centres and employees of the KTF Head Office gathered to present reports on the work done in 2021 and to outline plans for 2022, reports the KTF Press Service.

In total, the year gone by, despite of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, shaped well for the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation. The KTF reached the end of the year with the following key outcomes:

Tennis infrastructure

Improvement of the tennis centre in Shymkent was fully completed. In April, a tennis centre was opened in Lisakovsk town, Kostanay Oblast. It was built on the territory of the central stadium, where all the major sports grounds of the town are concentrated. The total cost of the project exceeded 300 million tenge. In addition, in the spring, a modern tennis centre “Zhan Dosym” was opened in the sports complex of the Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi. The indoor centre of the newest generation includes six courts and a grandstand for 165 spectators. The high-quality surface of the courts meets the international requirements. The project was implemented on the initiative of the “Zhan Dosym” tennis club with the support of KazNU named after Al-Farabi and the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation. Along with the construction of new courts, the existing bases are being improved to meet international standards for hosting major tournaments. For example, the CSKA tennis courts in Almaty, built and reconstructed by the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation 9 years ago, have undergone transformations in 2021.

Record number of republic-wide and international tournaments

Summarizing the results of the outgoing year, an excellent job was done by the Kazakhstan Tennis Tour (KTT) Department of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation. 47 international and 28 KTT tournaments were held (including two championships of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a youth championship). The ATP 250 Astana Open tournament returned to the capital exactly one year later. And this year not just on its own, but in tandem with the women’s tournament – WTA 250. At the end of the outgoing year, the final of the Asian Team Championship U12 was held for the fourth time in Nur-Sultan. The Kazakhstani boys’ team won silver, and the girls’ team got the gold medal.

Regional work

International and Republican tournaments of various categories were successfully held in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Almaty, Shymkent and Karaganda. Karaganda hosted two major ITF W25 women’s tournaments and the junior’s ITF tournament of the fifth category. Some regions hosted tournaments of such a high level for the first time, which speaks for the recognition of the high level of the Federation’s oblast branches.

Development of childrens tennis

Baby Tennis and Tennis 10&U is one of the important and priority objectives for the KTF. Baby tennis coordinators are appointed in all major centres. All major tennis centres have plans developed for the work with children by March 2022. Booklets and banners were issued for tennis players / parents of the Tennis 10&U programme with a structure of development of KTF players and advice for parents, now available in all tennis centres. 21 coordinators were hired to hold festivals and events of orange and green colour in all tennis centres of the country. To train coaches under the Tennis 10&U programme, world specialists Mike Barrell and Alexey Ivantsov were invited. 

Training of coaches and judging

The development of Kazakhstani coaches and training of the required number of coaches to meet the urgent need for coaching staff in all regions of Kazakhstan is of particular importance for the KTF. In this direction, seminars and refresher courses for tennis coaches and instructors for Tennis 10&U, as well as an ITF Level 1 seminar, were held during the year. A training programme for leading players who have retired from sports (Fast Track) is being conducted; it is designed to prepare local young professionals to carry out work in the regions.

Judging is developing in the Kazakhstan tennis tour with great strides. There are 10 international judges in the country. Yulia Ignatchenko and Meruyert Kaukeyeva have Bronze badges. In 2020, Yulia and Meruyert joined the WTA’s most talented female judges team. This year, the girls successfully worked at three Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon), as well as at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Achievements of national teams and juniors

2021 can surely be named as one of the most important years in the history of the Kazakhstani tennis development.

Kazakhstan’s No.1 Alexander Bublik turned into one of the swiftly developing players. In 2021, Alexander played in two ATP 250 tournament finals in Antalya and Singapore. However, Bublik achieved his most important success not in singles but in doubles together with another Kazakhstani tennis player – Andrey Golubev. The duet reached the final of Roland Garros but lost to the court hosts in the deciding battle of the French slam.

The second racket of our country, Yulia Putintseva, won her second title at the clay ground tournament in Budapest, and at home – WTA 250 Astana Open – she pleased the local fans with a beautiful game and reached the final.

The victorious march of the women’s national team began far from home – the girls went to Argentina in April 2021, where they played against the hostesses of the courts in the playoff round of the Billy Jean King Cup. Four dramatic in their tension singles games have not revealed a winner. The fate of the meeting was decided by the doubles match, in which the duet of Yaroslava Shvedova and Anna Danilina turned out to be the best. Thus, Kazakhstan took a historic victory, winning for the first time on the road in the playoff rounds, and won the right to play in the 2022 qualification final, where our girls will play at their home ground against Germany.

It is always a great honor for athletes to play at tournaments as members of the National Team. Of course, the Olympics stand apart. Our tennis players managed to win a record 8 licences for the games in Tokyo – twice as much as the previous figure. The performance of the rising star of world tennis – Elena Rybakina – was most successful. The representative of Kazakhstan took the fourth final standings under the hot Japanese sun.

The Davis Cup team left the group from the first place at the final stage in Madrid but had a chance to win over the strong Serbian national team led by Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. In preparations, reserve players were included in the national team: Timofey Skatov and Beibit Zhukayev, who should further strengthen our team in the near future.

Kazakhstani juniors won a record 37 ITF Juniors tournaments in singles and doubles during the year and became finalists in 44 more tournaments. In TE U14 tournaments, our tennis players have won 19 tournaments and reached the finals 15 times. The results of 14-year-old Inkar Dyusebay, who won three ITF singles tournaments among U18 players, are impressive. Our players Bakhtiyar Yerasyl and Polina Sleptsova are the first in the ATF (Asian Tennis Federation) rating, where they won 5 tournaments and played 8 more finals. Zara Darken became the winner in the European Tennis “Player of the Year Outside Europe” category, and Amir Omarkhanov not only won three TE tournaments, but also reached the final of the ITF Juniors J5 tournament, which is a very good marker for a 14-year old. Zangar Nurlanuly is also actively progressing, and having won 2 TE tournaments and played 2 more finals, he now holds the 77th position in the TE. It should be specifically mentioned that the great credit for the results achieved goes to the coaches.

Quite recently, at a meeting of the International Tennis Federation, the number of Kazakhstan’s votes was increased to seven. This is the third of the six levels in the order of importance. Countries are divided altogether into 12 votes. Now in terms of influence our country will be in the ITF on a par with such states as: Croatia, Serbia, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand. Thus, Kazakhstan has officially entered the world’s top 20 countries in terms of the overall level of tennis development. Also, KTF Vice-President Yury Polskiy was elected to the Board of Directors of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF). All these facts indicate the high competence of Kazakhstani tennis in the international arena.

President of the Tennis Federation Bulat Utemuratov did a recap of the closing reporting conference:

“Thanks to our joint efforts this year turned out to be very successful for Kazakhstani tennis, even despite all difficulties related to the continuing pandemic and multiple restrictions complicating holding of tournaments and travelling for players. The work on training of coaches will be continued with an emphasis on coaches getting the fundamental sports education and managerial skills to ensure strong basics for further professional performance as leading mentors. This year we have worked out an increase in funding for promising players in all regions in order to accelerate the process of their sports growth. This work, in my opinion, has just begun and should be actively continued next year,” said Bulat Utemuratov.

The President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation noted in his speech that in 2022 they would pay a special attention to the regions:

“Each region should provide a decent support next year to their lead players for participation at least in 8 key national and 5-6 international tournaments. There should be at least two tournaments in each age category in a region. A selective recruitment of children at the younger age of 5-7 years should be performed everywhere to create a high-quality “sports pyramid”. All existing problems with the infrastructure of operating tennis centres should be resolved in all regions within a year: repair of tennis court coverage, lighting and others. The Federation will provide the necessary support. It is a pleasure to note that new tennis centres will be opened in Almaty and Turkestan in 2022. It is planned to build new tennis centres in the cities of Taraz, Uralsk, Shymkent, Almaty and Nur-Sultan. A substantial foundation has been laid for the development of tennis, which requires further active work of each region in order to achieve the goals of educating future champions of Grand Slam tournaments and scaling up the mass of people trained,” concluded Bulat Utemuratov.

Greenhouses and a new airport terminal: Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation summed up the year

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation spent3 billion tenge in 2021 for projects in the health, education and culture sectors and for support of the needy.

The Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Dr Almaz Sharman, told about eighteen projects the Foundation supported in 2021. These included enhancement of the “Autism. One World for All” programme, “Green School” and “Jas Leader Akademiiasy” (“Academy of Young Leaders”) projects, aid rendered to people affected by natural disasters and housing granted to families in need.

“Jas Leader Akademiiasy” is helping children of 50 schools in Shymkent and the Turkestan Oblast to develop skills of communication, team work and time management. Within next five years, the project will cover schools in seven more oblasts, and the total budget of the project will comprise 2.1 billion tenge,” noted Sharman.

The “Green School” environmental project for children started in 16 state-owned schools of Almaty where the Foundation built greenhouses with smart systems of drip watering, lighting and heating, and published textbooks for pupils and teachers containing detailed instructions on how to tend their plants.

The Foundation sent 300 million tenge to the Aralsk District during the drought to purchase forage for cattle and agricultural machinery. Restoration of the Aspai spillway thanks to which water goes to the Small Aral Sea became a milestone event. The “Balameken” project enabled purchase of apartments for 40 multi-child and needy families in Aralsk for the total amount of 300 million tenge.

The Assyl Miras autism centres network continues to grow. Before the end of this year the tenth centre will open in Taraz, and next year – a centre in Karaganda. Intervention programmes in these centres were attended by 2,152 children in 2021 and by 11,076 children for the entire lifetime of the programme.

The Foundation continues its “Aid Card” project jointly with the Red Crescent of Kazakhstan.  Those affected by floods got financial aid for the amount of 53 million tenge. Thirty families in Ridder town, whose houses were burnt down during the forest fire, received 1 million tenge each.

Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation continues to support projects run by the Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation. These include issue of the “Otan Ana” vinyl album, holding of the first musical residence for composers and award of personalised scholarships. “The culmination of our cooperation will be creation of a public space dedicated to the memory of Batyr that we plan to open next May in the capital,” shared the plans the Board of Trustees member, RoK people’s artist Zhaniya Aubakirova.

The Foundation will fund the construction of a new terminal of the Korkyt Ata airport that will subsequently be signed off to the Kyzylorda Oblast Akimat and will have a capacity to handle 300 passengers per hour.


Vinyl record of Batyrkhan Shukenov’s “Otan Ana” album released in Almaty

ALMATY. KAZINFORM – The Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation announced the release of a limited edition vinyl record of Batyrkhan Shukenov’s “Otan Ana” album, Kazinform INA reports.

The “Otan Ana” album was first presented on October 26, 2002 in Almaty. Over the past 19 years, the music and songs of the hieratic album have not lost their value and relevance.

Talking about his first Kazakh solo album, Batyr said: “Discs are now very difficult to sell, because everything has gone to the Internet. We still did not set a commercial goal. First comes music, then – everything else. The “Otan Ana” album, created together with Kuat Shildebayev, is a dedication to the motherland. We were recoding it for a year and a half, each song has been lived through by us. This is not poster patriotism, it is necessary to talk about it very reverently, not shouting. The title song “Otan Ana” is played when people put their children to bed, it sounds like a lullaby. So we managed to convey something very important. When I sang this song, my son was a few months old at the time. I took the microphone and, naturally, I thought only about him, and, apparently, these feelings filled the song.”

In another interview, Batyr was asked about the song of the same name from the hieratic album “Otan Ana”:

“In addition to the lyrics, the song has a very deep musical subtext. How did you choose this “palette”?”

In response, Batyr told the story of creating music for the song: “In the orchestration, at the very beginning of the song, dauylpazy sounds – huge drums that make an archaic sound that called on warriors to protect their land. How this sound came to me, I can’t say for sure. It was somewhere in the subconscious. Kuat and I have been looking for the sounds of these drums for several days, listening to a huge number of sound libraries. We argued for a very long time. When we finally found those very drums, as soon as the first “drawing” and the first beats of the drums appeared, Kuat began to play the part of the violins, and it was no longer possible to tear him away from the instrument. We did not leave the studio for a week, we were simply captured by this powerful flow of energy – and this song appeared. We were helped by a beautiful, wise, unknown force energy! This is an important point: how to be ready for creativity; understand why and for whom.”

“I think that folk music is the main inner base of a human being, his platform. And even when our first experiments at “A-Studio” began, musicians in Moscow told me they could feel folk melismata in my voice and in the manner of performance. To be honest, at first this was not clear to me. But when Kuat Shildebayev and I began to work on the Kazakh album, then there was a complete immersion in the study of folk music,” commented Batyr on the authenticity of the album sound.

To create the design of the record, the Batyrkhan Shukenov Foundation and Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation held a competition among woman artists and designers, where the design concept of the Almaty graphic designer, Guldana Tauassar, won.

Guldana herself describes her work process as follows: “I listened to this album for a very long time, including outside the competition. I thought and still think that many people associate Batyr’s songs and his voice with something nostalgic. Nostalgia for the old days, for the old Almaty, you listen and memories pop up before your eyes. Everyone has their own. So the focus was on making the cover warm, vintage, nostalgic.” For the design of the record, photographs taken by Nikolay Postnikov when filming Batyr’s clip in Ustyurt were used. Guldana placed a still where Batyr holds a stone with petroglyphs on the cover, because she believes that “This photo conveys the care and love Batyr treats his homeland with.”

Nikolyi Postnikov, who filmed the backstage of Batyr’s creativity, spoke of his work as:

“The national music that Batyr is engaged in is an order of magnitude higher than what is happening today in the music industry.”

The educational component of joint projects is important for Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation. According to the Foundation Director, Marat Aitmagambetov, the re-release of the album on vinyl will raise the quality standard of modern music: “We see that Batyr’s work has a huge impact on a new generation of performers and listeners – they are inspired by him, they try to align with him. I would like Batyr’s thoughts and words about the homeland, relationships, love to continue to live, to be accessible to people. Perhaps the record will be the first acquaintance with the “Otan Ana” album for young people. It is all the more pleasant that they will immediately hear the famous compositions in excellent quality.”

The record was released in a limited edition of 100 pieces. To remind, the outstanding singer and composer Batyrkhan Shukenov was born on 18 May 1962. Passed away on 28 April 2015. The news of his death shocked the whole country and the army of millions of fans.

Personalised stamps with the image of Batyrkhan Shukenov were issued in Almaty in November 2020.


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