Altay Hasanov, the Vice President of the Gymnastic Federation of Azerbaijan summarizes the results of World Calisthenics Championship held in Baku
Question: I know it very well from private experience: once you set up preparations for any event, for instance, family festivities, you worry trying to take into consideration all details. And know all is behind, while your heart is empty and youвЂ™re tired... Do you have such feelings after the world championship?
Answer: First of all IвЂ™d like to note that I liked very much your article on the results of the World Championship on Calisthenics in Baku вЂ" thorough analysis of sports events and exact estimation of the performances by Azerbaijani
gymnasts, while some echoes on it were more likely babbles by dilettantes, rather sensible articles by sports journalists. These are not words only for praise, IвЂ™d like to see more qualified journalists who will set the deep knowledge of the subject and sincere approach as priority directions of their activities.
As to tiredness I feel IвЂ™m tired, but it is a pleasant feeling. There is spiritual bankruptcy. But it is inevitable after months long intensive preparations for the championship every day and every hour. Putting aside no less important work and without a right for serious mistakes we at least held the large-scale event. So, this is a satisfying tiredness. The same time, there is a pleasant sense of ability of organizing such events. We вЂ" the organization committee of the World Championship headed by Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the Gymnastics Federation of Azerbaijan вЂ" is a team which succeeded to fulfill the commitments set by the leader. The organization committee demonstrated that the country stands in line with the world gymnastics powers enjoying tremendous experience in organization of such tournaments.
Certainly, being well familiar with the inside of the вЂ�organization kitchenвЂ™, I witnessed some shortcomings and small gaps, which is quite obvious. However, all these problems were resolved in the process in the way that neither sportsmen, nor spectators felt it.
Question: The President of the International Federation of Gymnastics (IFG), Bruno Grandi, and senior officials appraised the organization of the championship in Baku. Could you, as an organizer who was always together with the eminent guests to championship, hear in the lobby anything about the championship, on Azerbaijan, on perspectives of the upgrade of sports in the country in general?
Answer: Quite right, the estimation by the IFG in the face of its President вЂ" Grandi вЂ"and other senior officials for the organization and arrangement of the world forum of gymnasts excites proud and a sense of deep satisfaction for the work done. Senior officials of the IFG told almost all that today Azerbaijan is ready to arrange the most representative tournaments and not only on gymnastics. In one of the receptions Grandi called Baku the capital of the world for hospitality. In one of the private talks the President of the Technical Committee of the IFG on Calisthenics, Ms. Abruzzini, said that touring Azerbaijan three years ago she first of all found honest, respectable and diligent people. Such complimentary notes were too muchвЂ¦ One of the leaders of the IFG said at table, вЂњPerhaps, you canвЂ™t understand completely how significant event [the World Championship вЂ" Trend] takes place in your country.вЂќ
There is truth in these words. Three years ago, when Mehriban Aliyev started to head the National Gymnastics Federation, none of trainers, or sportsmen could imagine on the organization of such an event in the country. No one could suppose that the world famous gymnastics celebrities such as Viner, Kabayeva, Chashina, Deryugina, would come to Azerbaijan as a center of gymnastics. Earlier the national leader Heydar Aliyev and today President Ilham Aliyev do more and more for the Motherland, we could get accustomed to events of such scale held in the country. Thanks to the National Olympics Committee headed President Ilham Aliyev and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tournament headed Abulfaz Garayev sports in Azerbaijan undergoes boom. The high level organization of the world championship on calisthenics is an evident proof for the said.
Question: Is the gymnastics expensive kind of sports? Could children from low-income families go in for gymnastics?
Answer: The calisthenics is not so expensive type of sports. ItвЂ™s enough to be down for the section, acquire a pair of gym shoes, suits for training and several gym goods, certainly if they want to get involved in this type of sports. We have gymnasiums and well experienced trainers, who constantly attend improvement courses in Russia. I mean, children from low-income families could easily go in for gymnastics. Besides, IвЂ™d say that many Russian champions were from, to put it mildly, non-rich families.
Question: The championship will undoubtedly give impetus to the development of this sport in the country. How will the National Federation develop the sport gymnastics and acrobatics, as during the Soviet Azerbaijan achieved definite successes in these kinds in the international arena?
Answer: Every significant event, especially, the world championship is an original catalyst for the upgrade of the any kind of sports. Even today I receive calls from friends, who ask to be down the girls in the section. They ask me to recommend the better trainers to have an effective result in the end. I mean, if earlier they brought children to calisthenics only for physical development, today the parents are keen to see the effective results. This is the impetus for the development.
The journalists also contribute in making popular the gymnastics. If three years nothing was written about gymnastics, the situation is quite different today. It is on focus of media reports now.
As to the development of the sports gymnastics and acrobatics, there indeed exist problems, but they could be resolved shortly. For instance, the sports gymnastics is an expensive kind of sports, as it requires specialized rooms - gymnasiums and many different apparatus, to be placed in these rooms. The President of the Federation has approved a project on new and unique Gym Palace in the country, which will enable to train and rival in all types of gymnastics. However, as you understand, it is not easy, cheap and fast work.
Question: And the last question. Does not the authority of the President of the National Gymnastics Federation вЂ" the First Lady вЂ" weigh upon you as the Vice President of the organization? Is it easy to work with her?
Answer: It is very pleasant, delicate and easy to work with the First Lady, as she is very clever and communicable person. Sometimes we try not to engage her with inconsiderable issues that we could resolve by ourselves. However, she carefully considers even such small points with respect to secure us somehow. As the Vice President of the Federation I am sure that she will straighten me in time and suggest the optimal resolution to the problem. It is not surprising вЂ" she has been in sports for a long and as a spouse of the President of the National Olympic Committee she knows about sports more and her contribution is invaluable.