The Oceania National Olympic Committees General Assembly was attended by Istanbul 2020 bid leaders today in Nadi, Fiji, to help connect young Turkey with the Olympic Movement, which reflects ONOCs emphasis here on the importance of engaging youth in sport.
Istanbul 2020 Chairman Hasan Arat, National Olympic Committee of Turkey Secretary General Nese Gundogan, and Istanbul 2020 Director of Sport Alp Berker were part of the senior bid delegation at the General Assembly.
“The Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee is very grateful to the delegates at ONOC for the insight they have shared,” Arat said. “We are honoured to have been invited, and to have had the experience to listen and learn from the fresh ideas on youth engagement presented to us here in Nadi. Even though we are from different parts of the world, it is clear the ONOC nations face the same challenges and opportunities we face in Turkey.
“Getting young people to play and stay in sport is a top priority for the entire Olympic family. Istanbul 2020 is committed to providing fresh opportunities for the region’s young people in an environment where innovation and young entrepreneurism can thrive. The first ever Games in the region will help realise the full potential of our huge young population.”
Almost five million young people – 50% of the population is under the age of 25 – are in favour of the Turkish city hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Istanbul 2020 hopes it to be a key factor in convincing the International Olympic Committee of its meeting the priority of the Olympic Movement.
“Young people in Turkey are passionate about sport, and about Istanbul’s bid to host the first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in Turkey in 2020,” Berker said. “We are currently investing USD 500 million annually into sports participation and development programmes, courtesy of our National Sports Plan, in order to increase youth engagement.
“Hosting the Games, to open up the full spectrum of Olympic and Paralympic sports for young people across the nation and the region.”