A total of 19 coaches have graduated from the first level 1 course held in the municipality of Kadikoy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. The course, which featured men and women, was led by Serbian Rugby League Federation coach educator Slobodan Manak.
The local council provided a conference room and pitch, participant and Turkey RL board member Oytun Çölok commenting: “I have learned a lot of things about coaching generally and the basics of rugby league, it was very good. We have had so much help that I feel we are at the beginning of something very special.”
Following the course, the initial domestic activity in the country saw 140 players take part in a five-a-side league tournament on Kadikoy beach, involving 12 male and three female teams. In all, six clubs and three university sides took part encompassing the cities of Istanbul, Edirene, Eskisehir and Konya, with over 40 games played.
Kadikoy beat Ottomans in the men’s final with the hosts also winning the female competition, defeating Trakya.
Jovan Vujosevic, RLEF regional director for Central and Eastern Europe said: “Despite the coup here, it was essential to support the coaching course for the future development of rugby league in Turkey. This was a big occasion for the Turkish Rugby League Association and I was proud to witness it. There is huge potential here and I hope the TRL finalize formal registration of their association very soon and become part of the growing RLEF family.“
Turkey RL founder Julien Treu added: “The tournament was over two days and extremely enjoyable for all the players. We were eager to go forward with this despite some political issues here and the result was really convincing, it will help us to go forward in the creation and development of the sport in Turkey. This is a great first step for us and we now have coaches that can be sent out to other cities who will work with new clubs. The next step are referee courses which will enable us to start a league as soon as possible.”