Samarkand Half Marathon is an annual charity run organized by the Art and Culture Development Foundation under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with the Ministry of Culture and the State Committee for Tourism Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as Khokimiyat of Samarkand region. Organizing a charity race helps to solve the problems of attracting public attention to the problem of inclusivity in cultural and art objects, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and developing sports tourism in our country.
Today on www.samarkandhalfmarathon.uz we are opening registration of participants of the Samarkand Half Marathon. This year's organizers will focus on the opportunities of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the problem of access to people with special needs to cultural and art objects. The event will address issues of creating an inclusive environment for people with autism and the possibility of their integration into the social, cultural, and public life of our country. The funds raised from the Samarkand Half Marathon will be used to create a children's art studio in one of the boarding schools in Uzbekistan for children with autism.
Due to the serious epidemiological situation in the world, the Samarkand Half Marathon program in 2020 involves holding the sports part of the event in two formats – a classic race in Samarkand and a virtual race for those who cannot come to Uzbekistan and take part in an offline race. The virtual race format will give the participants of the Half Marathon the freedom to choose the location and distance, and the results will be accepted according to the data recorded in the Strava app. The charity race will start on November 1. Nordic walking competitions have been added to the Half Marathon program, and children under 12 will run in a separate Kids' race.
Educational and cultural programs within the framework of the Samarkand Half Marathon will be held in digital format. Representatives of the charity National Autistic Society (UK) will hold online lectures for parents of children with autism, and experts from the British Museum will tell in detail about their Early Morning Explorers initiative. A series of online discussions, webinars, and masterclasses will be organized with the support of the "Friendly environment" project (Russia). Our website will feature a film program developed in conjunction with the Beat Film Festival.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Samarkand Half Marathon:
"As I have already mentioned, it is important to make the Half Marathon in Samarkand an annual event. And now, a year later, we are back to work on a project that helps solve important problems on the way to creating an accessible and inclusive environment. I am sure that starting with cultural institutions, this movement will gradually cover all aspects of public life in our country. Although this year, for obvious reasons, many participants will not be able to physically visit Samarkand, it is important that people from different parts of the world will be able to join our charity run."
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Public Fund for Support and Development of National Mass Media:
"The Samarkand Half Marathon is one of the largest charity projects that not only encourages us to lead an active lifestyle, but also draws public attention to such an urgent problem as the development of inclusivity. Organizing projects to create an inclusive environment is an important task. We all have one goal – to ensure full social integration and create equal conditions for every resident and guest of our country. To do this, we must actively support such initiatives and make every effort to ensure that there are as many such events in Uzbekistan as possible."
Executive Director of the Art and Culture Development Foundation:
"The Samarkand Half Marathon is a vivid example of how joint efforts can solve any problem, even such a large-scale one as inclusivity in cultural and art objects. Our government is taking unprecedented measures to create an accessible environment. And we are pleased to see that the society supports these initiatives with great enthusiasm. This is evidenced by the number of involved people who took part in the first Samarkand Half Marathon."
Curator of the Samarkand Half Marathon, Head of the Special Projects of The Art and Culture Development Foundation:
"This year we have prepared a lot of new things for you. New participation formats, new solutions, new battles. For the first time in our country, official Nordic walking competitions will be held, and the results of young runners will be counted in a separate category of the race for children. Of course, you will find unique medals and many interesting innovations, such as competitions between running clubs and "Battle of the cities". Giving participants the freedom to choose the time, place, and distance, we will try to break records for the number of runners, expand the geography of participating countries and convey the atmosphere of a big running holiday. There are more and more people who love running thanks to the Half Marathon, and this motivates us to look for new formats for running races and organize events at the highest level."
Curator of Educational and Inclusive Programs of the Samarkand Half Marathon, Head of the Department of Education and Inclusion of the Art and Culture Development Foundation:
"With the help of the Samarkand Half Marathon, we want to draw attention to the problems of people with autism, and most importantly, offer solutions to them. We need to teach society to adapt and understand how to interact with each other. Our project is a good opportunity to get together and exchange experiences with foreign communities and specialists. We have been supported by the British charity organization National Autism Society, the British Museum, and the "Friendly environment" project, which will hold a number of online educational events, and the organizers of the Beat Film Festival have already started working on a film program that they will present at this year's Samarkand Half Marathon."