Grassroots plans in focus
Suat Kılıç. AA photoTurkey can only boost its performance by spreading sports throughout the nation, Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç said Jan. 6.
Kılıç said the number of athletes was not at an acceptable level for a country of Turkey’s stature.
“Unfortunately we are nowhere near where we should be in terms of the number of athletes,” Kılıç said, addressing sports media at a conference. “We have a population exceeding 74 million, but we have no more than a few million undertaking sports. And another sad fact of the matter is that the active number of athletes is less than 15 percent of those on paper.” Kılıç said the reason why Turks were not sweeping the medals in tournaments and not having bigger success was the failure of the country to spread sports throughout the nation. The ministry started working with 61 sports federations to address the matter, Kılıç said, adding that they were trying to increase the interest in sports and organize more sports events, in addition to addressing grassroots problems.
The ministry has started several projects concerning facilities, Kılıç said. “We aim to have at least one fully-fledged sports hall and one Olympic swimming pool in every one of 81 provinces by the end of year,” he said. “We will build 150 football pitches across Turkey.”