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Elena Kunts: We need to learn from the Baku experience

19 August 2014

Elena Kunts: We need to learn from the Baku experience

Coming to the training camp, gymnasts from Kazakhstan are the frequent visitors of Baku. Recently, the first team of this country has trained at the National Arena and now athletes from "Zhuldyz" Rhythmic Gymnastics Center are improving their skills in our capital. Its leader Yelena Kunts shared her impressions of what she saw and talked about the long-term plans of the Centre in the interview to

What is the progress in your trainings?
I have heard many rave reviews about the National Gymnastics Arena, as well as about the work of the Azerbaijani head coach Mariana Vasileva, therefore I wanted to see everything with my own eyes. We brought to Baku junior composition and now they are preparing for the 3rd "Zhuldyz" Cup to be held in Astana.
What are your impressions of the first visit to Baku?
Everything is just wonderful. People are friendly and gymnasts are predisposed to us. Moreover, there is crazy discipline. This is such an experience that we need to learn. The staff itself is very friendly, athletes and the coaching staff are open to communication and the atmosphere is conducive to work. I do not feel like a stranger, I have an impression that I live here. All of this is very nice and I think that we will visit Baku as much as possible.

As to the "Zhuldyz" Centre, what is its specialty and direction?
We recruit girls from three to ten years. It often happens that well-established gymnasts come from other schools. Our team participate in all domestic competitions, while athletes from "Zhuldyz" are included in the national team of Kazakhstan of different ages.

Probably, the main objective of the Kazakh gymnasts is to repeat and increase achievements of legendary Aliya Yussupova?

The main thing is to preserve the continuity of generations in order to provide new athletes to come after Yussupova. Of course, I want to have quite lot gymnasts such as Alia. We are working in this direction.

Can your Center apply the experience you have received in Baku?
Yes, there is enough food for thought. I would like to say kind words to the head coach of Azerbaijan’s team Mariana Vasileva. She is a very open person, contacts very easy, and I think we will send Kazakh coaches to study in Baku. Because there are those whose example we need to take and I am very glad that I met Mariana. She corrects the exercises of our gymnasts and shows how to fulfill them. Our gymnasts were amazed! Besides, now we have started construction of a new building for the Centre, so, we are being acquainted with the National Arena in order to organize everything well.