By Amina Nazarli
BP Azerbaijan has announced about extension of its partnership with Azerbaijan’s National Olympic Committee and National Paralympics Committee.
The company, which is a party to Azerbaijan’s major energy projects, will continue to support the country’s national teams and a group of selected athletes until the end of 2020.
The agreement was signed in January 2012, ahead of the London 2012 Games and since then it has been extended twice - in 2013 until 2016 and now until 2020. This partnership has provided a good opportunity for BP to work closely with NOC and Paralympics Committees in support of the development of the national sport. The partnership also includes supporting a group of national athletes in their preparation for major international sporting events such as Olympic and Paralympics Games, as well as assisting elite athlete development in Azerbaijan.
BP’s Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Gordon Birrell, addressing the extension signing event held in Baku on December 15, said that they are delighted to announce as a company to continue to be the official energy and oil and gas partner for NOC and National Paralympics Committee until the end of 2020.
"We are also delighted to have this opportunity to continue to have our athlete ambassadors in our BP family. They have been a source of pride for all BP staff and indeed for the nation of Azerbaijan in all major sporting events since the start of our partnership. We will continue to support our ambassador athletes as they prepare to compete and win medals for Azerbaijan," he said.
He said that BP is preparing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Azerbaijan next year.
"Throughout our presence here we have been closely involved in many aspects of the country’s life, building a track record of safe and efficient delivery and creating close partnerships with the governments in the region, companies, communities and other stakeholders. The extension of the agreement with the NOC and National Paralympic Committee demonstrates BP’s long-term commitment to the country as its reliable partner," Birrell said.
In turn, Chingiz Huseynzade, President of the NOC said that they are delighted to see that BP is not only Azerbaijan’s oil and gas partner but it also supports the development of national sport.
"In the Olympic period of 2013-2016 our partnership has been widely intensive. Thousands of volunteers, hundreds of athletes, dozens of coaches have benefited from our joint projects. I would like to specifically highlight the BP-funded elite athlete development training programmes provided by the Michael Johnson Performance Centre in 2014-2016,” he said.
Ilgar Rahimov, President of the National Paralymic Committee, said: “We are aware that along with its partnership with the International Paralympic Committe BP supports national paralympic committees in 10 countries including Azerbaijan. We are delighted to see this humanistic initiative and take pride in our official partnership with BP. I am confident that the extension of our partnership will contribute to the further and more rapid progress of the paralympic movement in the country resulting in more remarkable achievements of our athletes in the Baku 2017 Islamic Games as well as in Tokyo 2020.”
BP has a strong and long-standing commitment to Azerbaijan and is engaged in the country both economically and culturally. To date, together with its co-venturers BP has invested more than $63 billion in oil and gas projects and related areas in Azerbaijan.
In addition to their primary targets, BP-operated projects have brought many benefits for local communities by creating jobs, generating revenues, providing opportunities for economic growth, building partnerships and developing local supply chain, supporting education and training, sport and cultural legacy. These activities have presented a great opportunity to make a positive difference to the people of Azerbaijan.