As Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) marks the start of the 100 Days To Go countdown – probably the most exciting milestone before the Games, we talked to our Ambassador Athletes and some people within BP invloved in our official partnership with the Games about the excitement this has created.
“This is a historic event, an honor that Azerbaijan is hosting these games and I am proud that I will be representing our country during the Games”, says Ilham Zakiyev, multimedalist, the face of paralympic movement of Azerbaijan and a BP Ambassador. Since June 2014 BP has become an Official Partner of 2015 European Games. Within the partnership the company is committed to promoting Baku 2015 across Azerbaijan, funding the development of aspiring medal hopes for the host nation, as well as supporting the development of national talent in managing complex events and projects. “We hope these initiatives will help Azerbaijan stand out not only as a host country that can efficiently deliver major projects, but also demonstrate sporting excellence using the international experience offered by this programme,” says Gordon Birrell, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. “We are particularly pleased that BP’s support for the Baku Games targets to help capability-building and athlete development efforts of Azerbaijan.”
“I felt so happy after learning about our partnership with BP. Now I feel that I am valued and I will approach this challenge even more responsibly”, says Elkhan Mammadov, the only Judo World Champion from Azerbaijan and a BP Ambassador. Elkhan is one of the six athlete ambassadors that BP supports during the European Games. The others are Ilham Zakiyev (Paralympic Judo), Oleg Panyutin (Paralympic Athletics), , Oloxan Musayev (Paralympic Athletics), Farida Azizova (Olympic Taekwondo) and Haji Aliyev (Olympic Wrestling). BP employees are also very excited about the games. As the long supporter of sporting events in the BP Azerbaijan Georgia Turkey region (AGT), Elmir Fatullayev, transport and travel manager says: “These games will make history, and the fact that our company is supporting them is amazing. We need to make sure that these games are remembered not only because they are First European Games, but also because they are happening in Azerbaijan and they are going to be top quality.”
Some of BP employees, such as Database analyst from subsea operations Zaur Nadirov, are prominent athletes themselves. Zaur, who is a medallist power lifter, says: “I think that holding European Games here will boost the international image of Baku as a sports capital and will eventually lead to hosting of the Olympics. With the support of BP our team is going to gain the highest results and I am proud that my company is sponsoring such a huge international sporting event.” Also as part of this commitment, in early December the Baku 2015 European Games and BP publicly presented the Games Academy Graduate Excellence Programme. The Games Academy is an innovative educational programme that specifically aims to develop national staff members, including university graduates from Azerbaijan and Europe, preparing them for the efficient delivery of a major multi-sport event, as well as developing skills which will assist them in their future career. These lucky graduates gain a chance to become part of the international games community. You can get more information about BP' support for the Games Academy on our website
“This will create a lasting capability legacy of professional event management in Azerbaijan and a workforce able to deliver major international sporting events and other large, complex projects,” says Tamam Bayatly, communications manager, BP AGT. On top of that, as part of the partnership, BP is involved in the development and coaching programme designed for Azerbaijani national athletes as they prepare for Baku 2015 European Games.
When commenting on this, Oleg Panyutin, the Paralympic multi-medalist in athletics and BP Ambassador says: “The fact that BP is supporting these games and athletes is awesome and it is a good example to other companies to join the sponsorship of sports in Azerbaijan and over the world. BP deserves a big thank you,” concluded Oleg. For more information on the Baku 2015 European Games, please visit www.baku2015.com.