The Turkish Football Association (TFF) arranged a large-scale celebration of grassroots football on the day of the UEFA Champions League final last Saturday with activities marking UEFA Grassroots Day in 19 cities across Turkey.
Students from football education centres and girls football schools participated in special tournaments organised by the TFF, with a total of 5,300 boys and girls taking part. Presents were handed out to the youngsters involved.
The cities that staged these UEFA Grassroots Day events were Adana, Aydin, Burdur, Canakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Eskisehir, Erzurum, Istanbul/Avrupa, Istanbul/Anadolu Izmir, Karabuk, Kayseri, Kirikkale, Malatya, Manisa, Nevsehir, Samsun, Trabzon and Van.
A busy summer for grassroots football in Turkey will now follow with several other projects coming to fruition. Around 15 special grassroots centres will be open for six weeks of summer for boys and girls aged ten to 12 to get basic football training. Additionally, a number of summer schools for six to 14-year-olds will be run by clubs and municipalities.
In July the TFF's Football Villages programme comes into effect. This entails one-week camps for children from throughout the country, offering an educational schedule that comprises football, drama and other recreational activities including chess. The football fun in Turkey will also be captured on film thanks to the second year of the TFF's national grassroots photograph of the year competition.
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