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General Manager Guido Tognoni: «We are a team and we work as a team»

In July Club has celebrated its anniversary and in relation to this special date we interviewed our General Manager Mr. Guido Tognoni by asking him a couple of questions:


Dear Mr. General Manager, what does the anniversary of our Club personally for you mean?

- First of all, I am happy about what we have reached so far. The project is unique in the world of track and field, and we get support from all over the place, beginning with the Governor of East Kazakhstan, Danial Akhmetov, and ending with track and field clubs and coaches in Europe giving us the opportunity to offer our athletes new option for training and competitions. Today there is a lot of international awareness for Altay Athletics Club. People see, that something is happening with track and fields in Oeskemen and in Kazakhstan. Fortunately, most of the athletes fulfilled our expectations.


What were the main obstacles or challenges which the Club has faced at the very beginning?

- As all know, we have engaged some athletes from Kenya for our club. For them such an engagement was as new as it was for us. First of all, we had to prove that they can trust us and our promises. We fulfilled our financial obligations, we kept all our promises, we supported them at most of the top events and our CEO Askhat Seisembekov was several times in their home town Iten to visit them. Now all the athletes know that they can trust us and that they are part of the Altay family.


How do you think was the Club able to achieve its goals, which were set for a year?

- To reach the goals or to fail is at the end of the day depending on the athletes. We were lucky to make a good choice of athletes, so many goals we already achieved in the first few months. Our runners were during their first season as members of the Altay Club better than expected, and Olga Rypakova won the overall standings of the Diamond League in Triple Jump. This year we started with a first place at the Diamond League Meeting in Doha and some other excellent results. In Sports it is more difficult to stay on top than to reach the top. In Monte Carlo we saw a new women’s steeple breathtaking world record. Beatrice Chepkoech from Kenya improved the old record by 8 seconds. That was like bursting of a dam. Therefore, our top runner Norah Jeruto must set new goals in training and competition for their best discipline. It will be interesting to see how she is handling the challenge.


What is on your opinion the most valuable achievement of the Club at this moment?

- The most valuable achievement is that we are not only a club on paper, but that we are very well functioning in reality. From the top, president Danial Akhmetov, via his staff down to the athletes the cooperation works. We are a team and we work as a team. This happened from the beginning and could not be expected. And let’s not forget the Kids Cup: from scratch Altay could mobilize within a few weeks some thousand children and young adults who participated for the first time in a track and field event. We have to care about these young athletes who are forming the pool of talents for the development of our sport in Kazakhstan.


Could you tell what goals may not have been achieved by the Club?

- In sports there is one key rule: you always want to achieve more. Better results, more titles, more medals, if ever possible more records. We have achieved good results, but if we already would be satisfied, we would be lazy managers and bad athletes. From some of the local athletes, who for the first time could profit from the club’s support, we expected more engagement and more motivation to do better. On the other hand, we found some other promising local athletes who are proving that they want to make use of the good opportunities the Altay Club is offering them.


Looking ahead a little, could you reveal some aspects of the Club's forthcoming plans?

- Within the first year since the foundation of the Club we have created the international infrastructure for our athletes with training facilities and special coaches all over the year in Europe or, for special cases, even in Africa. Now we must structure the season in a way, that the athletes can exploit what the club is offering. They must leave their comfort zone in Kazakhstan and must be ready to take profit from training opportunities and international challenges. We offer this not only to the athletes, but also to their personal coaches. Our aim is that Altay Club can push the whole development of track and field in Kazakhstan. Since several months Governor Danial Akhmetov is president of both, Altay Club and the Federation. This makes it easier to streamline the efforts and to fully exploit what Altay Club is offering. In addition, we would like to finalize a supplier contract with an international known producer of equipment and shoes. That’s in view of the Olympic Summer Games 2020 in Tokyo.

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Published on: 09 august, 2018