This year in early November I wrote a letter that I sent by email to the Turkish Athletic Federation (TAF) when I asked “I am Swiss, I love athetics, I have participated in ultra marathon competitions, I want to become a coach, for these reasons I would like to know if courses to train as athletics coaches will be held and if so when”.
The next day my phone rang and it was Necdet Ayaz the President of Education Board of the Turkish Athletic Federation. Mr Necdet invited me to the IAAF Kids’ Athletics Coaches Education Seminar held 19-20 November 2015 in Ankara’s Etimesgut district.
What is IAAF Kids’ Athletics?
IAAF Kids’ Athletics is a certification programme organised by IAAF. Following the seminar participants receive a certificate with worldwide recognition which allows practice in 196 countries.
The aim of this seminar is to teach children about athletics from the age of 7 onwards. But not through heavy training or coaching but rather by playing games.
1 Million Super Kids
Since January 2015 TAF is organising the IAAF training programme titled “1 Million Super Kids”. TAF added the following courses titled “Anti-Doping”, “Child Psychology” and “Ageless Champions” into their IAAF Kids’ Athletics original seminar programme. On the first day Assistant Prof. Dr. Fehime Haslofça and Assistant Prof. Dr. Ercan Haslofça of Ege University who are also members of the Education Board lectured together for 8 hours.
Anti-Doping seminar was delivered by Prof. Dr. Rüştü Güner who is General Coordinator of Anti-Doping Commission in Turkish Olympic Committee, whilst Associate Prof. Dr. Perican Bayar from Ankara University and a member of the Education Board delivered the Child Psychology seminar.
With a total of 21 courses IAAF Kids’ Athletics Project has reached out to 5.695 kids – 2.732 coaches. January Programme will continue with training seminars from Çorum Hitit University, Manisa University and National Education Board Etimesgut District.
During the second day of the seminar, I have delivered the training given on the first day to a group of students aged 07-12 from Eryaman Cooperatives Union Secondary School. I really enjoyed working with a total of 70 children passing my motivation to them.
After the training practice, Turkish champions from past years arrived and shared their experiences with the participants. İsmail Akçay, Turgut Gür, Mehmet Tümkan, Mehmet Akgün, Mehmet Ay, Mehmet Yurdadön, Mehmet Terzi and Semra Aksu were the past champions who were invited. It was very interesting to look at the old photographs, to listen to them and have the opportunity to talk with them.
Attention drawn to Swiss athlete
Both the online journal “Public Service Hour” (Kamu Saati) and Turkish Athletic Federation mentioned me on their web sites. For easy access please click on the following link Kamu Saati: İsviçreli sporcu Coraline Chapatte çocuklarla buluştu ve IAAF Çocuk Atletizmi projesi Etimesgut’da gerçekleştirildi or pictures below.
To draw such an attention gave me a beautiful motivation. I would like to expand my knowledge on running and sports, and wish to pass on my experience and motivation to the youth of Turkey. Obtaining an international certificate was the first and most significant step toward this goal!