UIPM 2021 Global Laser Run City Tour: Revival events draw more than 1,500 back to Laser Run
Laser Run has been embraced in Eastern Europe in recent years and the region was at the forefront of the revival of the Global Laser Run City Tour in May 2021, with high numbers attending editions in Russia and Ukraine as well as neighbouring Asian nation Uzbekistan.
Like every other aspect of the UIPM Sports movement, the highly successful GLRCT had to be paused for the majority of 2020 due to measures imposed to tackle the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
However, in the early stages of 2021, the Tour resumed with the first instalments taking place in safe and secure conditions in Egypt and New Zealand. The action continued in Hurghada (EGY) on April 2 before the circuit moved north and north-east to be embraced by more than 1,500 participants across two other continents.
Working the numbers in Rostov-on-Don (RUS)
More than 250 athletes gathered on Workers’ Day (May 1) in the main theatre square of Rostov-on-Don for the now-traditional Global Laser Run City Tour.
Entrants of all ages came from Rostov-on-Don, Novocherkassk, Taganrog, Krasnodar and Stavropol to take part in a competition attended by athletes, parents of young athletes and pupils of the Don Emperor Alexander III Cossack Cadet Corps.
The Head of the Rostov-on-Don City Administration, Aleksey Logvinenko, watched the action in the company of the Head of Department for Physical Culture and Sports, DA Braslavsky.
Introduction for all ages in Tashkent (UZB)
The UIPM Sports movement in Uzbekistan, one of the newest member nations in the region, has progressed steadily despite the unforeseen disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Just a few weeks after the graduation of 11 coaches at Level 1 of the UIPM Coaching Certification Programme (CCP), on May 15, the Central Ecopark of Tashkent named after Zahiriddin Babur hosted more than 350 people for a Global Laser Run City Tour.
Participants ranged in age from five to nine years old to 50 and above. Athletes from the Ministry of Defence, the National Guard and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan also took part in the competition, attended by Deputy Defence Minister Alisher Narbaev and Oybek Kasimov, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan.
Building on progress in Kiev (UKR)
The capital of Ukraine, Kiev, has plenty of experience hosting the Global Laser Run City Tour and it was a sign of the appetite for Laser Run in the country that 486 athletes from all regions took part in Ukraine’s first GLRCT in two years on May 22.
Before the start of the competition, Dmytro Kirpulianskyy, Chair of the Ukrainian Modern Pentathlon Athlete Committee and a Member of the UIPM Athletes Committee, engaged in a warm-up with the youngest athletes before interacting with all attendees and provided information about Modern Pentathlon.
A spokesperson for the local organizing committee said: “Racing was held at the Dynamo Kiev horse centre with good weather, well-prepared athletes, happy coaches, a friendly atmosphere and a well-dressed arena, creating an unbelievable holiday of sport.
“The shooting range decorated with classical Laser Run design and the awards area was adapted with Laser Run colours; athletes could take selfies at the special Laser Run photo zone. All judges involved were Modern Pentathlon national level judges.
“All age groups participated in these competitions: young athletes, veterans, people from commercial structures and public organizations. For everyone it was an incredible experience and an opportunity to meet new friends.”
During the opening ceremony, Ukrainian Modern Pentathlon Federation President Igor Panin said: “Because of the great support of UIPM, we can see how the Laser Run movement is developing not only in Ukraine, but also around the world. Because of this format, we attracted many yang athletes and amateurs to our sport. Moreover, during the lockdown period this format helped us a lot!
“Our athletes could train and compete in the online international competitions which were organized by the International Modern Pentathlon Federation. It helps our athletes and coaches to save their motivation and inspiration.”
A true sporting crossover in Nizhny Novgorod (RUS)
A month of successful GLRCT events in Eastern Europe and Asia drew to a close with the biggest gathering of all – with more than 500 people taking part in Nizhny Novgorod (RUS).
Like Rostov-on-Don (RUS), the city has a strong track record of hosting UIPM’s plug-and-play mass-participation event and the event on May 23 was no exception.
Professional and amateur athletes from Nizhny Novgorod and six other cities attended the competition, with a high rate of crossover from other sports – among the participants were pupils of sports schools in polyathlon, track and field and cross-country skiing.
Others who took part came from sports and recreation complexes of the Nizhny Novgorod region, servicemen of the Russian Guard, cadets of the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, students of the cadet corps of the Volga Federal District named after VF Margelov, as well as fans of sports and a healthy lifestyle.
A spokesperson for the local organising committee said: “From the beginning of the first races until late at night, there was the atmosphere of a sports festival with performances by creative groups, military band Rosgvardii, and enormous support from spectators raising the spirit of participants.
“All participants were awarded with commemorative symbols from the tournament, personalized diplomas and certificates, commemorative bracelets and medals.”
The GLRCT was held six weeks before one of the highlights of the 2021 season, the European Modern Pentathlon Championships, which will be held at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium from July 4-12. The competition will feature Laser Run finals involving the five strongest athletes from each age category from the event on May 23.