Turkey's Changemakers: Athletes in Mardin are 'running' towards a better future
Cura reached a total of 350 students from Mardin’s city center and surrounding villages within the project.This week’s Turkey’s Changemakers features former national athlete Mehmet Munir Cura, who led the “Promotion of Athletics in Mardin” project in the southeastern province of Mardin.
Cura, a former mountain runner who won the third place in World Championships and first place in Balkan Championships, returned to his hometown of Mardin to work as a physical education teacher upon his retirement as an athlete. The former mayor of Mardin, Mehmet Kiliclar, helped Cura to establish the Mardin Sports Club for Athletics with the goal of taking athletics to the next level in the city. The Mardin Sports Club for Athletics, established in 2008, received a grant from the ministry of development social support program and brought the “Promotion and Popularization of Athletics in Mardin” project into life.
Since 2008, Cura reached a total of 350 students from Mardin’s city center and surrounding villages within the project. The Mardin Sports Club for Athletics raised around 120 licensed athletes, and eight of these athletes now attend a sports academy at the university level.
The U-16 Girls, U-16 Boys and U-20 Boys teams established by Cura now compete in the first division of Turkey’s National Athletics League. Another outcome of the project was the first running track ever to be built in Mardin. This track also hosted a national competition.
The Mardin Sports Club for Athletics competes in the first division of Turkey’s Cross League. The club finished the 2009-2010 season organized in Antalya in the eighth place with 236 points. In addition, the Club won the first place among 15 teams at the 76th Great Ataturk Race organized in Ankara.