By Nick Butler

The event aims to help aspiring athletes follow in the path of Georgia's four Olympians who competed at Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesMarch 1 - A sports development event promoting Olympic ideals and healthy lifestyles among younger generations has been held in Georgia.

Held in the Samtskhe, Javakheti and Racha regions close to the Turkish border, the event was primarily attended by those from the minorities Azeri population. 

As well as various politicians, those present also included several legends of Georgian sport, among them the Athens 2004 extra-lightweight judo silver medal winner Nestor Khergiani and trampolinist Rusudan Khoperia, who competed in two Olympics for the country after first winning a world title for the Soviet Union in 1988. 

These guests came together with high school students to share their rich experiences, as well to discuss and revisit the historical achievements of Georgian sport, before partaking in a variety of activities, including a sports quiz.

Participants were also presented with souvenir football, basketball and volleyball balls, as well as a variety of books about sport. 

Athens 2004 judo medal winner Nestor Khergiani was a participant in the event ©AFP/Getty ImagesAthens 2004 judo medal winner Nestor Khergiani (left) was a participant in the event ©AFP/Getty Images

Since being set up in 1989 and recognised by the International Olympic Committee four years later, Georgia has competed at 11 Olympics and won six gold medals across the three sports of judo, wrestling and weightlifting, with the most recent of these won by lightweight judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili at London 2012.

Despite a build-up dominated by fears that Georgian would not attend due to their ongoing tensions with Russia following a 2008 conflict, four athletes were eventually selected to represented the country at Sochi 2014. 

It is therefore an interesting time for sport in Georgia as they aim to build on their success in these recent Games up to Rio 2016, and increases their competitiveness across a broader range of sports. 

The development events are a key part of this process, and after the success of this first one, future events are being planned for the Guria and Svaneti regions in the central and northern parts of the country.