Last weekend, the destination was set for Trabzon in Turkey when the second preliminary visit took place for next year’s Gymnasiade 2016. Previously this year, ISF representatives Laurent Petrynka, ISF President, and Jan Coolen, Secretary General, went for the first preliminary protocol visit. This time it was a pure technical visit gathering the presidents of the ISF technical commissions in the various disciplines that are to be represented at the Gymnasiade. Athletics, swimming and gymnastics including artistic, rhythmic and aerobic gymnastics are the three traditional disciplines, but in addition to these, other sports will be included in the programme as well, such as archery, chess, fencing, judo, karate, tennis, and wrestling. Therefore, representatives of the Turkish School Sport Federation TOSF and the Turkish sport federations of the sports concerned were present during the visit as well, making it a very fruitful meeting with great inputs from various perspectives.
During the visit, several areas of focus were on the programme. Visiting the sports venues for final approval was one of them. Additionally, a technical meeting per sport was held where the ISF representatives met the local organisers of the particular sport disciplines to be held at the event. Jan Coolen and Norbert Kever, Executive Director of ISF, took part to supervise the discussions. Practical matters such as the general competition programme for the event along with a discussion of the competition format, age categories, weight classes, and number of participants per sport per country were other topics on the agenda.
The second preliminary visit finished with a gala dinner the last night in memory of Mr Recep Kizilcik, the former governor of Trabzon and driving force behind the organisation of ISF events in Trabzon, who tragically passed away from cancer last year. At the dinner, not only participants of the preliminary visit were to be found, a great number of people from the media were present as well, as the evening also was arranged to pay thanks to the media for their coverage of the various school sport events in Trabzon. All journalists present received a trophy for their efforts towards making school sport more visible in the media in the past, and the night was concluded expressing a wish to the media to continue their great coverage of school sport, in particular next year’s Gymnasiade.