The Ashgabat 2017 Mascot is called Wepaly – meaning loyal friend in Turkmen. He is an alabai, a traditional Turkmen dog which is renowned as a beautiful and courageous animal, that for many centuries has helped Turkmen shepherds to safeguard flocks of cattle in heavy conditions of sandy desert. Today the Alabai is treasured by the Turkmen people not only as courageous protector but also as a loyal friend.
The story of Wepaly revolves around his friendship with Meret, a young Turkmen boy who with the support of his beloved dog pursues his dream of becoming an athlete. Meret trains hard and when results are not fast to come Wepaly helps him understand that sport isn’t just about winning. He motivates Meret to take part in sport to be Healthy, and teaches him that sport is the foundation for building the bridges to Friendship. With Wepaly’s support Meret learns that from training hard, he will get the Inspiration to compete and that’s how you win.
With the help of his best friend, Wepaly, Meret felt inspired to train harder than ever before. In the end success arrives for Meret and he qualifies to compete at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat thanks to wise words of his friend Wepaly about Health, Inspiration and Friendship.