Sports in Kazakhstan

Hello everyone,

The Olympic Games are now just a few days away and we would like to talk about sports.

What sports are the most popular and/or unusual in Kazakhstan?

Are sports facilities easily accessible there? Where and how can one find sports clubs in the region?

Are there sports events regularly held in the country?

And you? What is your favourite sport? Which one(s) do you practice in Kazakhstan?

Thank you in advance,


As far as I can see, most of their sport appears to revolve around fighting of some sort (boxing et cetera as well as some arcane native Kazakh sports), perhaps because of the overweening macho culture.

Cycling is popular, as is ice hockey (at least in our city of Ust-Kamenogorsk). Swimming and skiing are popular amongst the European descendants (the region being a major part of the GULAG archipelago), less so amongst native Kazakhs, although this is changing slowly.

Our city has quite a few sports clubs, although they are pretty much restricted to those that can speak either Russian or Kazakh (there are very few English speakers in the city).

Ice hockey, cycling and football all tend to have regular events in the city. Ice hockey being perhaps the most well attended, with the local team, Kazzinc Torpedo being a very highly ranked team in the country and outside.

My sport is sailing, which I have competed in for over 55 years (in Australia and worldwide) and whilst I would have liked to transport my skiff to here to sail on the Bukhtarma reservoir or Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan, suitable indoor storage during our extreme winters (-55C) is not possible.

There is another regular event I like to think of as sport and that is during winter, on the corner of my street and the cross street outside my apartment block, there is at least once a week (sometimes daily), an accident caused by a marshrutka being unable to make its way up the hill, sliding and spinning uncontrollably back until it hits either another vehicle or the kerb ...

I call it the All-Kazakh Komsomolskaya Ulitsa downhill motorised vehicle sliding event ... a fabulous multi vehicle (best so far has been 7 vehicles) slow motion pile up which generally takes between 3 and 5 hours to resolve because no one will move their vehicle until the police come ... so more and more vehicles, unable to stop, will hit other vehicles ...

Generally the damage is very minor, a paint scratch or a broken light ... but yet they will not move their vehicles and thus create a major incident out of one that could have been resolved in a few seconds or minutes ...