Turkmenistan will host 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games during Year of Health and Inspiration

Turkmenistan will host 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games during Year of Health and Inspiration

Turkmenistan will host 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games during Year of Health and Inspiration


In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG3 on good health and well-being), Turkmenistan declared 2017 the Year of Health and Inspiration. In this sense, the country is engaged in actively promoting the principles of healthy lifestyle and raising awareness around the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).

Celebrations for the IDSDP (6 April), linked to the World Health Day (7 April), have become an annual tradition.  In April 2016, for example, sports and socio-cultural activities were carried out under the slogan of “Health and Happiness”.

This year, for the very first time, a Central Asian country, Turkmenistan, will host the Fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (Ashgabat, 17-27 September 2017), having as motto “Health. Inspiration. Friendship”.

In addition to 45 Asian countries, athletes from 17 Oceanian countries will also attend the Games, bringing the number of participating countries to 62. They will compete in 21 sport disciplines, including Turkmen traditional wrestling Goresh, Muay, and Sambo.

As emphasized in article 1.5 of the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, “traditional and indigenous games, dances and sports, also in their modern and emerging forms, express the world’s rich cultural heritage and must be protected and promoted.”

Prior to the Games, a 500-days horse ride started on 5 May 2016 at the ancient fortress of Nissa, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, with 17 riders on Akhal-Teke horses running through the five regions of the country. The horse marathon is considered a reflection of Turkmenistan’s historical and cultural heritage, as well as traditions and customs. The final phase of the horse marathon will take place in the territory of Mary Velayat (Ancient Merv was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999).

The torch lighting ceremony of the Games will take place in the country’s largest gas field, at Galkynysh. Afterwards, the equestrian team will carry the torch to Ashgabat.  

Observance of rules of the International Convention against Doping in Sport is a primary goal of the Games. In order to ensure fulfillment of obligations under the Convention, Turkmenistan in a close collaboration with the WADA held a training seminar for national anti-doping inspectors. The Executive Board of the Central Asia Regional Anti-Doping Organization also held its regular meeting in Ashgabat, where it reviewed progress in implementing the anti-doping policies in the region, joint programs and education projects in this area.

For more information about the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, please see: http://www.ashgabat2017.gov.tm/


UNESCO is the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES) and supports the Government of Turkmenistan in promoting access to quality education, including physical education and sports. 

From 9-10 November 2016, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office supported the international exhibition and conference on “Education and Sport in the Prosperous Epoch of the Powerful State” in Ashgabat.

For more information about UNESCO’s activities in this field, please see: