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Istanbul 2020 works on sport for all

Istanbul 2020 has been on the road to put the city’s case to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Meanwhile Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up an easy to use online visa issuing service for business and tourist visitors.

Istanbul 2020’s senior bid leadership has been in Lima for the 15th IOC World Conference on Sport for All, stating that Turkey’s first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the catalyst for a huge rise in mass sport participation, particularly among the nation’s 31 million young people under the age of 25.

The Istanbul 2020 Chairman, Hasan Arat said:

Istanbul 2020 can be a bridge to an historic impact for the Olympic Movement and the young people of Turkey. Nearly 50% of Turkey’s population is under 25 and we produce around 700,000 university graduates every year. Our Games will provide them with a generation of opportunities across the sports sector, and they are ready to take up the baton for the Olympic Movement. An Olympic and Paralympic Games in Istanbul in 2020 really will mean, Sport for All.

The Istanbul 2020 delegation was seeking to share best practices to support the National Sports Plan: a wide-ranging, transformative government programme that provides for an investment of $500 million annually in sports participation and development through low- or no-cost activities. This is being complemented by a $1.77 billion government investment that will deliver 415 accessible, high-quality community and elite-level sports facilities and 24 new stadiums across Turkey by 2014.

A delegation also recently visited the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In a speech, IPC President Xavier Gonzales expressed his belief in Turkey’s capability to successfully deliver the Games if awarded the rights.

Mehmet Baykan, General Director of Sports, stated that the preparations were proceeding step-by-step and said

We had previously submitted our Bid Book to the authorities. Today we submitted it to the IPC. We have major goals in realizing Istanbul 2020 and we are making great preparations in this regard. It is a great pleasure to be here on behalf of our country. We learned from this meeting that İstanbul has a very distinct position in terms of Paralympic Committee.

Timsah Arena is one of the many new stadiums in development and construction in Turkey. Photo credit: Bursaspor.

Timsah Arena is one of the many new stadiums in development and construction in Turkey. Photo credit: Bursaspor.