The Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund has long funded various sports projects. This funding has been provided either directly by the Fund, such as the funding of the Astana cycling team, and through the national companies included in the structure of the Fund, such as when Kazakhstan Temir Zholy has financed the Barys hockey club and the Astana football club, and when KazMunaiGas and Samruk-Energo has financed the Astana Arlans boxing club, etc.
Since the Fund is a strong supporter of the corporate governance practices, as well as due to changes in the policy of sponsorship and charity fund provision, and within the decision to streamline financial flows directed at financing professional sports projects, it was decided to create the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club (PPSC). This initiative was supported by the President.
Ten most successful sports projects financed by the group of the Samruk Kazyna companies such as the Astana cycling team, the Barys hockey club, the Astana football club, the Astana water polo team, the Kazakhstan Barysy project on the development of the Kazakh Kuresi wrestling, the Astana Dakar Team, the Astana Arlans boxing club etc. were brought under the roof of the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club. As the special project, the club included the Foundation of Ilya Ilyin, who had become the Olympic champion in weightlifting twice and. His foundation has received the support from the Fund for the implementation of systematic preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Management of these projects will be among the functions of the Astana PPSC, which will ensure professional sports management. All funds allocated for the clubs will be distributed through the Astana PPSC. Image making policies, currently implemented by each club individually, will also be streamlined. Management of the PPSC will make decisions on key management positions of the clubs.
The work of the Astana PPSC will focus on the best practices of corporate governance in sports. The best examples for this are well-known world clubs like Spanish Real and Barcelona, Bavaria in Germany. These clubs bring together football, basketball, handball, water polo, etc.
The management of the PPSC consists of a president, who will provide overall management of the club and a general manager, whose functions will include operational management.
The author is the general manager of the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club.