Trabzon – The first day of the 16th ISF Gymnasiade 2016 was ended with Opening Ceremony. The festive celebration of school sport was attended by highest authorities of Turkey: Akif Çağatay Kiliç, Minister of Youth and Sport, Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Yücel Yavuz, Governor of Trabzon and Dr. Orhan Fevzi Gümrükçüoğlu, Mayor of Trabzon.
“Being in Trabzon for ISF Gymnasiade 2016, the third biggest sport organisation, you are sharing the enthusiasm and excitement with us, and with two thousand five hundred athletes from thirty one countries,” welcomed all the guests and participants the moderator of the opening ceremony.
After the warm welcome, volunteers holding flags of 31 participating countries joined the ceremony. To emphasize the good atmosphere, performance of Mehter band, known as the first and oldest Turkish Army band, followed.
“How powerful is sport, sport is fundamental right, a powerful tool, and a path to success. Being able to unite so many countries and breaking down so many barriers, fear and intolerance,” declared Laurent Petrynka, ISF President. He also highlighted the importance of youth, represented by young athletes and volunteers and the importance of peace: “Hosting the 16th ISF Gymnasiade in the country, being entrenched by Atatürk’s spirit “Peace at home –Peace in the world – Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh, and especially here in Trabzon, a historical sport city, is a wonderful occasion to show the world that we are citizens of this world, fostering mutual understanding, we are stronger together though sport and education.”
Ömür Karakullukçu expressed his hope for the event to bring peace, brotherhood and friendship: “Welcome to our beautiful country and Trabzon. All the athletes are the culture ambassadors.”
The ceremony finish was devoted to Turkish traditions. It started with traditional dance called Zeybek, that vary according to a city of origin and it ended with modern dances and music, both symbolizing new generation and modern era. The games have officially started – let them be fair, friendly, peaceful and let all of the participants enjoy the time of their youth.