World-class ski jumping complex opens in Shchuchinsk

ASTANA – A ski jumping complex recently opened at Burabai Ski Resort in Shchuchinsk, the country’s traditional location for ski training.

Photocredit: informburo.kz.

The 125-hectare facility, at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level, is one of the few of its kind in the world. It features biathlon tracks, a stadium, shooting range and indoor sports complex with swimming pool and training halls. The ski-biathlon track measures 4,584 metres; the biathlon roller track, 7,071 metres.

The centre is equipped with the right conditions for year-round training.

“The complex may compete with its European equivalents. Perhaps, in the future, there will be no need for our athletes to leave to travel abroad for training, since the complex is entirely focused on their needs and all of it is in one place,” said Kazakh national biathlon team coach Nikolai Vydrin.

The most recent addition is a ski trampoline. It includes K-90 and K-125 launch platforms, an 82-metre tower, judging tower with panoramic view, 10,000-spectator arena, cable car rail, doping control centre and medical centre.

The trampoline is available for use in all weather conditions and for competitions. The complex is planning to host a continental cup in mid-2019.

Kazakh skier Sergei Tkachenko set the trampoline’s first record on opening day, reaching the 151-metre mark. Slovenian skiers, who also tested the unit, and World Cup Race Director Walter Hofer provided positive feedback, said complex construction director Mirko Gornik.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev, First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Akmola region Akim (Governor) Malik Murzalin and Minister of Culture and Sport Arystanbek Mukhamediuly visited the complex the same day, July 11.

Construction was completed in two phases of 18.6 billion tenge (US$53.72 million) and 19.9 billion tenge (US$57.48 million). The safety of the trampoline construction was one of Mukhamediuly’s key concerns throughout the project.

“The object was built with the involvement of major international experts. Without their evaluation and recommendations, construction would not have continued,” he said.

He added the ski complex will significantly enhance the resort area’s sports and entertainment infrastructure, similar to Jurmala (Latvia) and Sochi (Russia).

The primary goal of the project is to increase tourism’s contribution to the Kazakh economy from the current 1.9 percent to 8 percent by 2023. The latter figure is comparable to the tourism share of the gross domestic product (GDP) in most developed countries, noted Mamin.

Kazakhstan’s tourist inflow is expected to increase from 750,000 to two million people per year by 2023.

“Our aim is to show Kazakhstan’s possibilities, how beautiful our country is and to develop tourism,” said Nazarbayev.