This podcast, by Sevket Akyildiz was delivered as part of a collection of papers on aspects of coaching and sport in an international conference titled Sports and Coaching: Pasts and Futures hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute for Performance Research in June 2011. The full collection of papers were later published in book form, please click here for more details and purchase information 


Soviet culture was part of the radical social transformation of society and was designed to transmit a new ideological consciousness. Physical culture as part of Soviet culture was a project that constructed and propagated sports and associated public events. Mass sports provision was designed to create healthy and proactive citizens for the union-wide economy and for military conscription, and the implementation of a universal physical culture and institutions of sport became after the late 1920s part of a Sovietization process to inculcate amongst all citizens specific socialist civic values. Centrally planned physical culture was deliberately used to engage young people and adults in Sovietised Western-style sports at school, youth movements and in wider society. In this paper I will investigate the relationship of Soviet culture and sport, and the implementation, construction and impact of physical culture in the Central Asian republic with the largest population of the modern era: Uzbekistan. I will clarify how Sovietisation embedded and internalised Soviet culture, sport and identity in society. Lastly, I argue that contemporary modern sports in Uzbekistan are a direct legacy of Soviet physical culture… To listen to the rest of the paper – press play below:

Article © Sevket Akyildiz