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Eczacibasi Sports Club receives the International Olympic Committee’s 2018 “Women and Sports World Trophy”

Photo: IOC Media
Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 6, 2018 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the Eczacibasi Sports Club the 2018 World Trophy for its success in becoming one of the world’s leading clubs in women’s volleyball, providing opportunities for thousands of young girls to play volleyball, and striving to increase the presence of women in sports. This is the first time ever since the award’s launch in 2000 that a nominee from Turkey and a sports club receives this trophy, the most prestigious worldwide in the field of women and sports.

The Eczacibasi Sports Club is both the first nominee from Turkey and the first sports club worldwide to receive the International Olympic Committee’s “Women and Sports World Trophy”. The club was nominated by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) for its long-running efforts to empower women through sports, raise their presence at every level of sports, and encourage thousands of young girls to take up sports by teaching them volleyball.

In his acceptance speech at the award ceremony in Buenos Aires on Friday, 5 October 2018, Eczacibasi Sports Club President Faruk Eczacibasi said, “We’re thrilled to receive this award because it’s not about trophies or international achievements; it’s about the Eczacibasi Sports Club’s decision to reorient its journey, which began with men’s basketball, to women’s volleyball. By allocating all our resources and investments to this field, we made sports more accessible to women and increased the participation of women and young girls in Turkish volleyball. This IOC award is a tribute to these efforts.”

Turkish Olympic Committee President and IOC Vice President Prof. Dr. Ugur Erdener also spoke at the award ceremony, which took place during the IOC’s new Olympism in Action Forum. In reference to the Club’s Women and Sports World Trophy he said, “Throughout its history of more than 50 years, the Eczacibasi Sports Club has undertaken major efforts to contribute to the development of sports in Turkey and increase the representation of women in every field of sports. Its achievements in the field of volleyball and success as one of the leading clubs worldwide have played a major role in encouraging young girls to take up volleyball and making the sport more popular. We are delighted and proud that these efforts have been recognized by the IOC and that this highly regarded club from our country is receiving this award. I congratulate the entire Eczacibasi Sports Club family for the contributions they made that resulted in this recognition.”

In addition to the award, the IOC is providing the Eczacibasi Sports Club a grant of up to $ 50,000 to initiate a project aimed at encouraging women’s participation in sports and supporting their empowerment through sport.

IOC Women and Sports Award
The IOC Women and Sport Awards are presented every year to individuals or organizations who play a leading role in encouraging women to participate in the Olympic Games or take up a sport, support the promotion of women to managerial and leadership positions, and contribute to women’s development and empowerment in every area of sports. The award winners are chosen from nominees submitted by 206 National Olympic Committees, International Federations (Summer/Winter) on the Olympic program and their Continental Associations, and the IOC Women in Sport Commission.

Eczacibasi Sports Club
Founded by Dr. Nejat F. Eczacibasi and Sakir Eczacibasi in 1966, the Eczacibasi Sports Club has won two European and two World Championships in women’s volleyball, contributed thousands of players to the sport, and trained countless young girls. After focusing its resources exclusively on women’s volleyball in the 1990s, the Eczacibasi Sports Club also contributed greatly to popularizing this sport in Turkey.
The first club in Turkey dedicated solely to women’s volleyball, the Eczacibasi Sports Club is considered to be the pioneer of women’s volleyball in Turkey and one of the top three volleyball clubs worldwide. Every year, some 8 to 10 Club players are invited to play on Turkey’s national teams.

Through its volleyball development program, the Eczacibasi Sports Club has trained more than 11,000 licensed volleyball players and, by offering scholarships, made it possible for countless girls to pursue their high school and university education at the same time. In 2016, the Club launched a collaboration with ES Volleyball to introduce thousands of young girls aged 6 to 13 to volleyball. “Future Spike” as the program is called, currently has 10 campuses around Turkey training 3,000 girls annually, and the goal is to have 30 campuses in 11 cities training 5,000 girls annually by 2021.

Every month, some 200 girls in the Future Spike program are given the opportunity to test their skills and gain experience in Club tryouts. Every year, some 25 to 30 talented young players receive scholarships from the Club so that they can continue playing volleyball.

In addition to encouraging thousands of young girls to play volleyball, the Eczacibasi Sports Club aims to increase the representation of women in sports management. Currently, nine of the Club’s 19 managerial positions are held by women (47%), and 25 of the Club’s trainers and campus coordinators are women (45%). 

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