Following the Annual Reporting Conference of the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan
Over $60 million of personal funds was invested by Bulat Utemuratov in the development of Kazakhstan tennis during 10 years of his Tennis Federation presidency. At the annual reporting conference, the KTF president noted that while domestic athletes are gaining momentum, the role of invited tennis players is invaluable. In such a way he commented on the need to attract foreign players.
"As for our players, how many years is it necessary to train a high-class tennis player? They come to us at the age of 5-6 years. Players come into their prime when they are 20-21, that is the time when they achieve their first success. Until that time, tennis players need to be supported. It takes some time. All tennis players are on the watch list. They all get financial support, they play for free all over the world," the head of the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan said.
Given that Bulat Utemuratov heads the Tennis Federation for 10 years, the average age of players who started playing tennis under his patronage is 15. However, he sponsors tennis players who came to the sport earlier, for example Zarina Diyas. While there were various rumors about the success story of this sportswoman, the KTF president dispelled some of them.
"Some people say that Zarina made her way all by herself. When she was 14, we started to help her. More than a million dollars of my personal funds was spent. We funded her until the age of 21. That’s why she made a hit. When she needed a surgical intervention on her shoulder, I paid for it. Now she earns living on her own. Based on the results of the last year, she is the breakthrough of the year. Following the tournament in Tokyo, Zarina is 62nd. After being knocked out of the hundred, she made a comeback," Utaturatov said. According to the head of the Tennis Federation, his relationships with foreign players are not limited only to doing business – he treats them like his own children.
The KTF president said that he was satisfied with the results of the last year. According to Bulat Utemuratov, athletes performed well at important competitions. Following the results of the conference, 30 people were awarded with commemorative medals and honorary diplomas for their contribution to the development of tennis in Kazakhstan.
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