On 24 August, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova designated the famous Kazakh boxer Mr Serik Sapiyev as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Sport for a two-year period (2013-2015). The official designation ceremony took place in the Kazakhstan Media Centre in Astana, in the presence of Mr Imangali Tasmagambetov, Chairperson of the National Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan for UNESCO and ISESCO and Mr Olzhas Suleimenov, Ambassdaor, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Kazakhstan to UNESCO.
This title was bestowed upon Mr Sapiyev "in recognition of his commitment to promoting education and sport programmes in favour of young people in Kazakhstan, his charitable activities, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization".
"We believe sport can bring people together around shared values and "fair play". We believe sport is essential in the struggle for tolerance and against racism, against violence. We believe sport and physical education are key to healthy lives – This is UNESCO’s position – sport can be a fabulous force for social inclusion, for gender equality, for youth empowerment, but this does not happen by itself – it takes will", stated the Director-General during her designation speech.
"I am truly proud to be designated as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and will put all my energy to promote UNESCO’s work at national and regional levels”, said Mr Sapiyev during this ceremony.
Mr Serik Sapiyev is a two-time world champion, Olympic Gold winner at the 2012 London Games, winner of the coveted Val Barker Trophy in 2012. As a Director of the Kazakh Boxing Federation, Serik Sapiyev supports the Astana Alumni Association, a Non-Governmental Organization that promotes education and sports initiatives, as well as youth leadership and charity events.
In his capacity as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Sport, Mr Sapiyev will support Organization’s activities promoting the values of education and sports with a view to building a better future for young generations.