Turkey is making all efforts to promote traditional sports, aiming to overcome years of neglect and ensure that future generations protect their heritage, the country’s president said on Tuesday.

“We cannot move toward the future with confidence if we do not have a faithful and noble young population that is aware of their rich history and heritage,” President said at the opening ceremony of the Traditional Sports Youth and Sports Club in the capital Ankara.

He said the new facility offers a space for people looking to learn or improve their skills in historical sports such as horseback riding, archery, and wrestling.

The facility, which has been operational for 18 months, includes barns, indoor and outdoor archery ranges, wrestling arenas, merchandise retail and repair shops, conference halls, and a cafeteria.

It has the capacity to provide horseback riding lessons to 48 students and archery training to 150 students per day, the president said.

“In our culture, the bow and arrow have many meanings, and hold significance in areas ranging from politics to our social lives,” he said.

According to Erdogan, the club has the potential to become one of Ankara’s most attractive places in the future.

He said the government plans to expand the facility, which has continued training of 110 students during the coronavirus pandemic, and urged more people, particularly children and teenagers, to utilize the club’s services.

* Writing by Muhammed Enes Calli

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