The Turkish Olympic Committee held an event for Olympic Day to inspire children ©TOC

Turkish athletes attended an Olympic day organised by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) in a bid to inspire new generations to live and play by Olympic values. 

The event was held in Erikçe Park in Gaziantep and was attended by more than 500 children. 

A number of high-profile athletes took part, including world champion wrestler Rıza Kayaalp, world champion karateka Serap Özçelik Arapoğlu and Burak Uygur, javelin thrower Eda Tuğsuz, badminton player Aliye Demirbağ and Olympic swimmer Rami Anis.

The athletes led a series of basketball, archery, karate, badminton, sport climbing, darts, bocce and rope ladder games, teaching the children basic techniques and telling them inspirational stories. 

A large number of the children were Syrian refugees and talked to Anis, who was a refugee himself in Turkey. 

Anis went on to become an Olympian as part of the Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016 and is hoping to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Syrian refugees talked to Olympic swimmer Rami Anis, who was a refugee in Turkey ©TOC
Syrian refugees talked to Olympic swimmer Rami Anis, who was a refugee in Turkey ©TOC

“Today, we met hundreds of children," said Kayaalp.

"We had a great time with them and I was delighted to see the fun they were having with us and the joy on their faces. 

“I would like to congratulate the TOC and all the partner organisations for creating such a wonderful event. 

"I believe that the children who are with us will be inspired to continue playing sport in the future.”

The children were awarded certificates for their participation, signed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and TOC President and IOC vice-president Uğur Erdener.

“Together with our national athletes and children, we played sports, had fun and showed the next generation the importance of Olympic values and a love of sports," said Seyit Bilal Porsun, TOC Board member.