Historic Debut: Uzbekistan Hosts Inaugural World Coaching Championship During Eurasian Creative Week

From 22 to 29 June, Uzbekistan hosted the first international World Coaching Championship, as part of the 8th international festival Eurasian Creative Week. For the first time, the festival events took place in three cities of Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Khiva and Nukus.

The festival programme kicked off in Tashkent on 22 June in the Great Hall of TEAM University, where a charity ball was held by Silk Road Media Ltd. The event was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the festival and brought together more than a hundred representatives of the business and cultural communities from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, USA, UK, India, Belarus, Finland, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Israel.

The ball was opened with a welcoming speech by Andrew Wachtel – Chairman of the Board of Directors of TEAM University (General Partner of the Charity Ball). Andrew told the international guests a little about the University and emphasised the importance of such events in strengthening international relations. The guests were then welcomed by Marat Akhmedjanov, founder and head of Silk Road Media Ltd holding (UK), the publishing house. Marat Ismailovich told about the history, mission and values of the holding and thanked everyone who could join the celebration of the company’s anniversary.

As the speaker of the event, Taina Kaunis, advisor to Silk Road Media Holding, noted, in 2024 the round date will be celebrated not only by the holding itself, but also by its projects. For example, the International OCA Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Hertfordshire Press is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) is celebrating its 9th anniversary.

The guests of the ball, including the famous artist Alinur Rashidov, the director Aliaskar Fatkhullin, the internationally renowned composer Tolibkhon Shahidi, representatives of the diplomatic corps of the embassies of various countries in Uzbekistan, honoured cultural figures of Uzbekistan, as well as heads of large companies, got acquainted with the charitable projects of the holding. Special attention was paid to the publication of books by authors from Eurasian countries (Central Asia, Eastern Europe), the organisation of festivals and the promotion of the region’s creative people at the international level. More than 30 people supported the charitable work of Silk Road Media, showing their indifference. Elish & Superheroes, a unique project to create a comic book museum dedicated to autism and inclusion, received the most support from guests.

As part of the ball programme, the first international coaching championship of its kind, the World Coaching Championship (WCC), organised by Silk Road Media together with the general partner of the championship – the Elena Bezrukova Centre (Kazakhstan), was inaugurated. Elena Bezrukova herself, as the President of the Championship, greeted all the participants of both the competition and festival programmes of the Championship and pointed out that the coaches-competitors have already become the winners of the WCC and the determination of the winners will be held on 25 June. Sheikh Dawood, General Manager of Le Grande Plaza Hotel – also a partner of the festival – also offered words of support to the guests and participants of the WCC. He wished all participants good luck in the competition.

The New Silk Road Charity Ball was also the venue for the official launch of the first issue of the Eurasian Creative Guild magazine (London). The editor-in-chief of the issue, Guardian of ECG (London) Saltanat Khamzeeva (Kazakhstan) told about the main moments in the history of the issue and also thanked other members of ECG (London) who wrote articles for the issue, some of whom were present at the ball.

An important event and the highlight of the ball programme was the award ceremony of the commemorative medal named after Jonathan Fryer (UK) – writer, literary researcher and member of ECG (London). The medal was awarded for the contribution to the development and promotion of cultural projects of Eurasian countries at the international level. The medal was presented to

– Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) – prose writer, publicist, literary scholar, academician of the International Academy for the Development of Literature (MARLI), winner of many international awards.

– Gulnara Rashidova (Uzbekistan) – head of the Sharaf Rashidov Foundation, academician, public figure. The medal was received by Said Burkhanov, representative of the Foundation.

– Akmal Nur (Uzbekistan) – painter, People’s Artist of Uzbekistan, Laureate of the State Prize of Uzbekistan, full member of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan.

– Boris Babaev (Uzbekistan) – journalist, founder of Kultura.uz and Intellectual Club.

– Alexey Ulko (Uzbekistan) – researcher, linguist and art critic, participant and jury member of Central Asian festivals of literature and experimental cinema.

– Sirojiddin Rauf (Uzbekistan) – Editor-in-chief of the magazines ‘Sharq Yulduzi’ and ‘Zvezda Vostoka’ (‘The Star of the East’).

– Lola Saifi (Uzbekistan) – Founder of the Human House Gallery.

The medal was presented by Marat Akhmedjanov and honorary co-chair of the ball Gulsim Batyr – President of Tashkent Women International Group. She noted the importance of such platforms for self-realisation, communication and creative development of women as ECG (London).

Ball guests also enjoyed a concert programme by the Avicenna vocal duo and the NAVO folk ensemble from Uzbekistan, who performed on folk instruments to the delight of the international guests.

On 23-24 June, with the help of Anna Lari, co-founder of ECG (London) and director of the festival programme, master classes and trainings were held by leading coaches of the World Coaching Championship (WCC) – Marina Galiy, Marina Alyassova, Natalia Gerasimova, Gennady Gorovoy, Viktor Grebennikov, Artem Volsky, Vladislava Baimagambetova, Kuralay Nurkadilova, Taina Kaunis.

The winners of the championship were

1st place – Natalia Gerasimova (Israel) and Vladislava Baimaganbetova (Kazakhstan)

2nd place – Marina Alyassova (Russia) and Artem Volsky (Kazakhstan)

3rd place – Gennady Gorovoy (Israel) and Marina Galiy (Kazakhstan)

Online participation:

1st place – Anna Gharib (UK)

2nd place – Susanna Akopyan (Armenia)

3rd place – Indira Laktayeva (USA)

Special prizes:

“Audience Choice – Vladislava Baimaganbetova (Kazakhstan)

“For breadth and boldness of thinking” – Susanna Akopyan (Armenia)

“For harmonious combination of family and educational activities” – Zhanara Riffert (UK)

“For systematic and authorial view of women’s development” – Anna Gharib (UK)

“For the aesthetic presentation of information” – Karina Kay (Italy)

“For the symbiosis of professions that develop a person” – Indira Laktaeva (USA)

“For the development of erudition” – Marina Galiy (Kazakhstan)

“For the ability to listen to others” – Marina Alyassova (Russia)

“For the ability to work with the emotions of the audience” – Natalia Gerasimova (Israel)

“For a vivid example of dedication to his dream” – Gennady Gorovoy (Israel)

“For the development of entrepreneurial thinking” – Artyom Volsky (Kazakhstan)

“For active citizenship in education” – Vladislava Baimaganbetova (Kazakhstan)

“For professional generosity” – Victor Grebennikov (Kazakhstan)

“For exemplifying resilience and vitality” – Kuralay Nurkadilova (Kazakhstan)

“For effective multitasking” – Taina Kaunis (Finland)

We thank the WCC jury:

Elena Bezrukova

Maria Muchinskaya

Nodira Abdullaeva

Viktor Grebennikov

Kuralay Nurkadilova

25 June took place:

– Presentation of animated video aids on ecology and psychology by Elvira Zhusupbekova.

– Poetry lesson with the Belarusian poet Maria Muchinskaya.

– Creative meeting of writers and editors with Saltanat Khamzeyeva.

– Advice and recommendations from Central Asia’s first literary agency by Bakhtygul Makhanbetova.

On 26 June, participants travelled to the legendary city of Khiva, where their day began with a creative quest “Sands of Time: In the Footsteps of Pakhlavan Mahmud” around the historical complex of Ichan-Kala. As part of the creative quest, the guests learned the story of Pakhlavan Mahmud, an outstanding thinker and fighter, tanner and madrasa teacher. In the evening of the same day, the festival participants shared their most vivid impressions and surprising discoveries, as well as the works created during the day. The guests paid special attention to the fact that even a simple man like Pakhlavan Mahmud was able to earn such love and respect from the people that it was an honour for Khans to be buried at his feet (historical fact – the mausoleum of the Khans of Khorezm is located in the building built around the workshop and then the tomb of Pakhlavan Mahmud, which became and remains a place of pilgrimage). The evening, thanks to the Khimiyat of Khiva, was decorated with a concert of folklore and ethnographic folk ensembles “Saikal” and “Doston”. On 27 June, Elena Bezrukova, the President of the World Coaching Championship (WCC), held a master class for the guests to regain their strength, as they had two busy days ahead of them.

On 28 June, the participants of the festival left for Nukus.

The Discovery Travel Forum, unique in its format and content, was held in the conference hall of the ASEM Hotel, which is traditionally characterised by an applied working format. Representatives of the hospitality industry had the opportunity to learn from a Kyrgyz expert, Marina Bashmanova, about the art tourism trend relevant to the region (this trend was selected in advance in dialogue with the Tourism Department of Karakalpakstan). The discussion on world practice in this field aroused great interest among the participants. International experience in tourism development through creative industries was also shared by Taina Kaunis, consultant of the British holding Silk Road Media, who particularly emphasised the prospects of developing cinema as an attraction for the region. Vladislava Baimagambetova, a business coach from the Elena Bezrukova Centre (Almaty, Kazakhstan), provided the Forum participants with unique practical information on international requirements for organising work in the tourism industry. Elena Bezrukova, the founder of the Centre and a business coach with over twenty years’ experience, led a training session for the participants, which allowed them to take a fresh look at the opportunities they already had for business development.

The creative members of the delegation – poets, writers and artists – were given a tour and mini-lecture by Tigran Mkrtychev, Director of the Savitsky Museum. During the tour of the exposition, he told the guests about the historical contribution of Igor Savitsky to the treasury of international art.

In the evening of the same day, the legendary Savitsky Museum hosted an exhibition of Igor Savitsky’s works. On the evening of the same day, the legendary Savitsky Museum hosted the immersive exhibition “Treasures of the Silk Road”, which became a true artistic event and revealed the splendour of the cultural heritage of the Eurasian region. The show included the immersive exhibition itself (projections and “animation” of paintings on the walls of the museum building), a concert and the presentation of the British art catalogue “The Great Steppe Treasure”.

The exhibition was organised by the British non-profit organisation Eurasian Creative Guild (Silk Road Media Holding) with the support of Tigran Mkrtychev, Director of the Savitsky State Museum of Art, and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan).

A unique exhibition of works by artists from the UK, Lithuania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Uzbekistan unfolded on the walls of the Igor Savitsky Museum. They embodied their vision of the richness and diversity of visual images – paintings and photographs – of the Eurasian space. The works of Maria Yanovskaya, Rozalinda Abdykadyrova, Larisa Pak, Shayzada Bakenova, Olesya Davidovskaya, Maria Muchinskaya, Polina Lakhtina and others were exhibited. It was not just an exhibition of paintings, but a real immersion into the world of art, where each painting became a window into the majestic cultural heritage of the region.  This was emphasised by the inclusion of classical paintings from the museum’s own collection alongside works by contemporaries.

Musical accompaniment to the projections in the darkness of the night and urban lighting created a fully immersive experience. “It was an incredible experience to be immersed in the cultural heritage of Eurasia. Seeing the exhibition in such a unique place as the Igor Savitsky Museum was truly exhilarating. I thank the organisers for the opportunity to dive into this world of art and history! – commented Gennady Gorovoy, a guest from Israel.

The event was attended by over 100 guests, including residents of Nukus as well as delegates from various countries, including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, the UK, Belarus, Finland and Israel.

The festival is organised by the British non-profit organisation Silk Road Media Ltd – Eurasian Creative Guild (London) with the support and participation of Le Grande Plaza Hotel (Tashkent), Bek Tashkent, Bek Khiva, ACEM (Nukus), ARAL (Nukus), Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan, Savitsky Museum (Nukus), Khiva City Hokimiyat, Ichan-Kala Museum (Tashkent), Human House Gallery (Tashkent), TEAM University (Tashkent) and Ichan-Kala Museum (Nukus). We are grateful to the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan, Savitsky Museum (Nukus), Khokimiyat of Khiva, Ichan-Kala Museum, Human House Gallery (Tashkent), TEAM University (Tashkent), AkSai Travel Agency (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). Special thanks to General Lessons Educational Centre for providing a team of volunteers and premises.

Eurasian Creative Guild (London) for 12 years of festivals has united more than 11,000 participants from 83 countries of the world, becoming the largest and most prestigious platform for the promotion of creativity of Eurasian artists. Follow us on social networks.