In December 2010 the General Assembly of the Asian Gymnastics Union (AGU) elected Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva the AGU’s Honorary President in recognition of her contribution to the development and promotion of gymnastics in the Asian continent.
At their meeting in Doha (Qatar) on 20 December 2010, representatives of 32 member states unanimously backed and endorsed the proposal put forward by the AGU President Rahman al-Shatri on Karimova-Tillyaeva’s election as the Union’s honorary president. Rahman al-Shatri said Uzbek gymnasts’ successful participation in sports tournaments as well as efforts being made by the Uzbek Federation of Gymnastics led by Ms Karimova-Tillyaeva to promote sports considerably contributed to raising Uzbek gymnasts’ profile on the world gymnastics stage.
The Uzbek Federation of Gymnastics led by Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva was founded in 2005. This was a real watershed moment in the development of gymnastics in Uzbekistan. The new Gymnastics Federation was set up by uniting five federations of gymnastics, which had hitherto operated separately, into a single organization. The main goal of this reform was to promote and raise the profile of gymnastics in Uzbekistan as well as to maximise the effectiveness of preparations of the national gymnastics team for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
The creation of a single federation that united rhythmic and artistic gymnastics, trampolining, acrobatics and general gymnastics was welcomed by the Federation International of Gymnastics and marked a turnaround in promoting gymnastics in Uzbekistan and raising the profile of Uzbek gymnastics internationally.
In 2007 Ms Karimova-Tillyaeva spearheaded the project to establish the National School of Advanced Gymnastics where the athletes are provided not only with intensive coaching, but also with healthcare, dietary and psychological assistance.
The National School of Advanced Gymnastics opened in late 2010 and serves as a launch pad for children from Tashkent as well from the country’s other cities, towns and regions. It was established in line with international standards and brings together coaches, sports doctors, nutritionists, psychologists and school teachers.
In early 2013 the School’s new premises, fitted with modern facilities to train world-class gymnasts, were inaugurated. Every year, the Federation selects gymnasts across the country from amongst the winners of regional competitions for admission to the national gymnastics academy, which schools future champions.
Thanks to the efforts of the Gymnastics Federation, the popularity of gymnastics has grown considerably in Uzbekistan in the past 10 years. The Federation regularly arranges seminars and master classes for PE teachers and children at schools and kindergartens across the country. As a result, gymnastics is getting popular not only in the capital Tashkent but also in the country’s regions with an increasing number of children enrolling in beginner gymnastics classes. Gymnastics centers were launched in all regions of Uzbekistan. At present sportswomen from Uzbekistan’s regional schools of gymnastics account for 70 per cent of the rhythmic gymnastics national team.
Whereas in 2009 the number of children involved in gymnastics totalled 2,500, at present this figure stands at over 30,000.
The Gymnastics Federation of Uzbekistan takes into account national traditions and characteristics in designing gymnastics clothing for girls being trained in regional units.
It has also become a good tradition for Uzbekistan to play host to prestigious international competitions in the area of gymnastics, and, according to high-profile international experts, these tournaments are held in full compliance with the international standards.
In 2014 the Gymnastics Federation of Uzbekistan took a great leap forward in the Asian continent. Uzbek gymnasts won a team gold at the Asian Games held in South Korea, and Uzbek junior gymnasts showed excellent results at the Asian Championships held in Malaysia, winning gold, silver and bronze medals.
In June 2015 members of Uzbekistan’s national team won a team gold and became the best gymnasts of the continent.
Uzbekistan’s national team for group exercises came third and won a bronze medal in all-round competitions.
In October 2014, Tashkent played host to the 80th anniversary Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation. This high-profile event was attended by representatives from 81 countries.