The fourth Ethnosport Forum started with participants from over 60 countries, including state officials, federation representatives, and academicians.
“I believe that organizing such a forum at a time when humanity is fighting the coronavirus pandemic is highly relevant. As a result of the pandemic, we have seen the importance of not only healthy life but also solidarity, sharing, and traditional values,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said via video message at an online forum, organized by The World Ethnosport Confederation (WEC) in a hybrid format under the motto “The Revival of Traditional Sports.”
“Throughout this process, we have realized once again that we are one big human family with shared grief and fate, regardless of language, religion, race or region,” Erdogan added.
Erdogan pointed out that the pandemic has revealed the dilemmas of rigid, coercive popular culture as well as injustices between countries.
“The prevalent mentality, which praises individualism while ignoring spirituality, and despising traditional values, has exacerbated the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“In fact, we have seen a gradual increase in young people’s interest in sports in our country over the last year,” he said, noting that traditional sports, as well as the culture and values they represent, will be more prominent in the world that will be reshaped in the wake of the pandemic.
By keeping this interest alive, they are determined to support the efforts made to spread our ancestral sports further, Erdogan added.
He went onto say that the discussions to be held within the scope of this important forum, which is held with the participation of more than 60 countries, will hopefully support and guide people in this struggle.
“Digitalization has always been in our agenda”
The World Ethnosport Confederation president (WEC) Necmeddin Bilal Erdogan gave an opening speech at the forum that is being held for the fourth time.
“Although we have distances among us, we are all together with the idea of reviving traditional sports. And this is what unites us here,” he said.
“Digitalization has always been on our agenda because as we try to revive traditional sports, we have to convey traditional sports and games, especially to younger generations and if you want to connect to our younger generation, our children, you have to use digital facilities, you have to use games, you have to use the internet and social media,” he added.
Erdogan stressed that ”this pandemic made it incumbent upon us to use digital facilities to do such a forum, urging all participants to really try to use this occasion to voice their opinions and discuss issues so that the conclusion of this forum is beneficial from now on.”
State officials, federation representatives, academicians from over 60 countries, and 19 corporate representatives who have maintained their activities connected to WEC will attend the online event.
Participants will be able to monitor the forum in six different languages on digital stages that have been specially prepared for them. The event will last for one day and will take its place among pioneering works in the world in terms of participant diversity.
The forum is being held with participants from all over the world at Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul.
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