Sapar Isakov: We Tried to Learn the Most from the Previous Games
The head of the Department of Foreign Policy in the Office of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic told 24.kg who will be feeding guests at the World Nomad Games and what they’ll be eating, what the venues will be used for after the Games, when the Hippodrome in Cholpon-Ata opens, and what sorts of souvenirs are being prepared for VIP guests. He also revealed that a list of all funds from sponsors for the WNG will be available for international audit.
Flaws Have Been Accounted For
Sapar Isakov noted “that the organization of the First World Nomad Games was flawed, but we learned our lesson.”
He admitted that the criticism that had been sent to the organizers “was well-grounded”. “But we have to take the first step, and we did as well as we could. And the invested money – about $2.5 million – we accounted for completely, we didn’t just throw it away,” emphasized the official.
The head of the department in the Office of the President didn’t rule out the possibility of mistakes this time around.
Speaking of the budget of the WNG 2016, he noted that the overall sum will be counted and announced following the event. “From the very beginning we announced that we want to surprise the world, and that this would require funds. But if we would have spent all of the money from the budget of $3 million on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, people would have criticized us. That’s why we decided to involve sponsors who gave us considerable amounts, and for our turn we’re trying to fulfill requirements for them,” he said.
According to the official, so far 150 million soms had been set aside from the budget for accommodating guests and 20 million soms for holding concerts and events as part of the WNG. Additionally, a small loan was given to the Sports Commission from the Ministry of Finance, as the Commission had signed a contract with a company called Solyaris, from St Petersburg, Russia. This company helped organize Sochi 2014 and other large events, and is working to direct the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the WNG.
About Funds from Sponsors
Details about funds from sponsors for the WNG will be available for international audit. This will ensure transparency in spending these funds.
In his words, sponsors at the current time had donated about $2 million, half of which is monetary, and half of which is services, such as plane tickets, costumes, communications, and other services.
In fact, Sapar Isakov denied that representatives of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia provided financial support for the WNG 2016. “The list of sponsors can be found on the official site, but the largest sponsors are MegaCom, the World Ethnosport Confederation, and Turkish Airlines,” explained the official.
He confirmed that the son of the Turkish president Bilal Erdogan is also in the list of patrons of the WNG 2016. Specifically, the World Ethnosport Confederation is run by him. “Of course we are thankful to him and his team because he has been supportive of these Games, both financially and as a consultant, they really shared their experiences,” said Sapar Isakov. In total, according to his information, about $1 million had come from Turkish sources - $500 thousand from the Confederation and the same amount from Turkish Airlines.
How Venues Will be Used After the Games
“Most important is not to construct the Hippodrome and hold the WNG, but to show that this venue will be useful,” said Sapar Isakov, talking about the construction of the new venues as part of the WNG 2016.
The official reminded us that grant money was allocated for the new Hippodrome, and that this money was brought by Almazbek Atambaev. “And you know what the construction workers are saying? That they haven’t seen such a big structure since the times of Usubaliev (first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kyrgyz SSR – “24.kg”). And you know what I’m worried about? That in a couple of years people will ask why we built such a colossus, when nothing from it remains? God forbid… That’s why the main thing is to show that this Hippodrome really will be useful and that we are already beginning to justify building it,” emphasized Sapar Isakov.
The official thinks that for this, it is necessary to hire an international company to run the Hippodrome, a company that would be able to hold prestigious international races. “This is, of course, just my opinion. Discussions are going on now, and a group of experts was brought together just to create an appropriate business plan, and I think quite soon the NISR (National Institute for Strategic Research – “24.kg”) will present it. But I, of course, will stand behind my opinion because if you’ve seen the Hippodrome, you’ll understand that it’s a colossus, and we need to run it smartly. Even more, for holding large events, one needs experience,” explained Sapar Isakov, and emphasized that if they “lay down the requirements for the company and require that they be filled,” then they can avoid unpleasant incidents.
The official is sure that the Hippodrome will be able to interest major players in the market. “Those who know this area say that the main thing for the Hippodrome is the racetrack. Our racetrack is being subcontracted to the French company Gregori – this is a worldwide brand, and so the track will be certified in accordance with all international standards. The length of the track is 3.2 kilometers, and what’s unique is that along its entire length there will be video cameras. Thus, the subjects won’t be out of the sight of viewers for a second, and the cameras have slow motion and replay functions and the ability to send the signal straight to satellites and even to sell it. But for all of this, I repeat, we need good leadership of the venue,” included Sapar Isakov.
About the Hippodrome in Cholpon-Ata
Quality control of the Hippodrome will take place in the first days of September.
Sapar Isakov noted that work on the venue is still ongoing, and that this Saturday part of the bureaucratic office will spend a day there. “The Hippodrome is really big, and you know that after a remodel, it’s hard to get a house in order. But people that want to do their duty can simply help out, cleaning and washing,” explained the officer, and added that heads of departments, most likely, won’t go.
Concerning the construction and quality of the building, according to Sapar Isakov, there are requirements in the contract. “Everything is prescribed in the documents, and if there is criticism from our side in the building process, then obviously these minuses will be addressed. Of course, I’m not a construction worker, but everything there looks like it’s going well,” he said, and emphasized that the general contractor, Azat, has taken responsibility for the quality.
“The Hippodrome must work at full capacity, of course. I was surprised when I learned that stars are not coming only because we didn’t have a venue with a large capacity, because for them it’s not profitable. Can you imagine? Now we have a stadium, and now in summer we can hold concerts with famous singers and groups, and this is another plus for the tourist season! These related events raise the attractiveness of our country for tourists,” added Sapar Isakov.
Who Will Feed The Guests at WNG and What Will They Eat
In answering the question of who will feed the guests at the WNG and what they will eat, Sapar Isakov noted that this question is being overseen by the Office of the President. “Naturally, they won’t be cooking themselves, and so now we’re holding a selection for chefs. Food preparation will be overseen by a consortium of chefs, of sorts. Someone will cook boorsok, someone will cook beshbarmak, and so on,” explained Sapar Isakov.
In his words, the menu for guests will include national Kyrgyz dishes as well as European dishes. He added that in the coming week there will be a tasting, to which journalists will be invited.
The Head of Internal Politics of the Office of the President confirmed that among the important people coming are the heads of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and other subjects of the Russian Federation, as well as Turkmenistan.
Souvenirs for Participants and Guests
Souvenirs for participants and guests were made by Chinese manufacturers. “These are quality goods, and we set conditions so that they would be affordable,” added Isakov. In his words, the souvenirs are already available for sale, and, like the tickets, they can be purchased through the official site of the WNG.
Sapar Isakov noted that handmade souvenirs were made for VIP guests, but these are a secret for now. “In principle, these aren’t really expensive things, but they look very solid,” he assured, adding that these aren’t national kalpaks and chapans.
He also added that every person who comes September 3rd for the Opening Ceremony of the WNG will also receive a special present from the organizers. Also explaining why the tickets to the Opening Ceremony weren’t free, Sapar Isakov explained that there were “many that wanted to come.” “But for this we have a quota for every region of 200 people, and for Issyk-Kul there is a quota of 1000 people,” the official added.