The Year 2017 – quite symbolic in many ways. Primarily, it is the year of the forthcoming Presidential elections scheduled for 12 February. The country is in election campaign mode with nine registered candidates in the race for the highest public office, who have already started campaigning with their election manifestos in the national media. Soon they will start public meetings with their electorates. On the day of elections, each Turkmen national will cast his or her vote in the hope that a particular candidate of their choice is the one who will share their thoughts and aspirations for the better future of the country and its people.
Yet another milestone event – quite an extraordinary one that is going to strengthen the status of peace-making nature of Turkmenistan, elevate its status as a global sports center to reckon with and stimulate efforts to enhance healthy lifestyle of the population is the next series of AIMAG – 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games scheduled for September 2017. The AIMAG-5 will take place at the premises of the unique for the whole Central Asia Olympic Village Complex in Ashgabat. The Games promise to break many firsts – they will gather more than 5000 athletes from historically unprecedented 62 countries of Asia and Oceania.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed that with the view of the forthcoming major events in 2017 to name the year as the “Year of Health and Inspiration”. The motto vividly describes healthy life as the highest value without which it is nearly impossible to achieve a real development and prosperity of every individual and discover unforeseen potential of every human being.
The 2017 motto is a blend of two notions – Health and Inspiration. It is quite reasonable that a healthy person is creative and a major building block of a healthy society of dedicated and inspired people consolidated around important general national idea. It is a stable social and political environment in the country and its sustainable development, civil and democratic maturity. Such a society is mainly self-reliant and tolerant, loyal to traditions and values and open to innovations, reforms and changes.
Inspiration is a zest that enriches any type of activity with intelligence, will and creativity. One can expect that the annual programme of events for 2017 may contain such activities aimed at introduction of principles of healthy and active lifestyle, spreading of sporting movement and strengthening of cultural and spiritual capital of the Nation.
Among the major goals of the Year of Health and Inspiration is the stimulation and support for publicly important schemes and projects like familiarisation of youth with sports, nurturing of patriotism and their spiritual and moral development and integrity.
Obviously, issues of maintenance of human health and that of society and people as a national asset is considered of critical importance since they cease to be of pure medical nature. Contemporary definition of health is not limited to simply absence of diseases. Rather, it includes quality of life and accessibility to health services, conditions of labour, development of popular sports movement and adoption of healthy lifestyle, healthy food industry, upbringing of a child in the family and education, support for motherhood and childhood, boosting of family and moral values, demographic, ecological, socio-economic and legal conditions and many other factors. All these are much beneficial to the society and the human being rather than mere technological medical advancement.
In this ever-globalised world health becomes very voluminous political category that includes not only aspects of national rather universal development of human civilisation. Among major issues that confront global agenda – fighting tobacco smoking as a serious risk factor to the human health. Turkmenistan in this sense sets an example not only through ratification of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control but also successfully implements its provisions owing to the strict adherence of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to preserve current and future generations from catastrophic impact of tobacco consumption.
“Protection of Health from the Consequences of Tobacco Smoke and Tobacco Products Act” guarantees protection of rights of every Turkmen National to lead healthy lifestyle. Research jointly conducted by WHO confirmed that Turkmenistan is among the least tobacco affected nations in the world.
In June 2016, WHO Director-General Margaret Chen conferred a special medal upon President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his personal contribution to the fight against spreading of tobacco smoking. The award stands as a testimony to the effectiveness of the state policies in area of protection of human health.
Morbidity, life expectancy, level of physical development of the people – all in one way or another correlated with the traditions of the Nation, its nature and climate conditions, as well as level of enlightenment of the society and its education.
Hundreds of thousands of people of various age categories are engaged in popular sports movement in Turkmenistan. Thousands of young Turkmen Nationals do sports professionally. Today they are gearing up to compete successfully at the 2017 Asian Games in Ashgabat.
The Asian Games are the grand sporting event that requires meticulous and diversified preparation. This is the first international contest of this magnitude that Ashgabat hosts. When this festival ends country’s sports life will continue to thrive. The legacy of the Asian Games must serve the purpose of being the nucleus for future aspirations in developing national sports movement. It is equally applicable to the knowledge, skills and experience acquired in the area of sports management, training of trainers and umpires, relevant medical staff and psychiatrists, and of course, the athletes as well as venues and facilities.
AIMAG-2017 will create thousands of jobs and boost domestic and international trade, business and tourist activities.
As generous hosts, the Turkmens would like to display the whole beauty and diversity of their country, its guest loving nature and openness to the world, readiness to cooperation and interaction in all possible areas, which are reflected in the 5th Asian Games’ motto – “Health. Inspiration. Friendship.”
The motto sets the tone for the year’s importance and its mission through the series of thematic and diverse activities: Assert human health as the main value of life, inspire people and sprinkle their everyday deeds with bright ideals, aspiration to achieve great goals.