Friday, December 1, 2023

Turkish coach takes school team to new heights in Istanbul

A real life tale of a coach taking a non-existent team to success has been revealed in Turkey.

A PE teacher and national coach has been hailed for changing lives in the Esenyurt area of Istanbul after he formed a school team whose players had no prior knowledge of the sport.

The fairytale story was realised in 2013 when Ercan Tekin took up a job at a secondary school in the district after finishing university.

Tekin was also a national player with Turkey and so he made it his prerogative to set up a team once he started the role.

In 12 months, the school team had achieved regional success, which led to Esenyurt Hockey Team born a year later.

In all, nine out of the club’s 60 members are now playing in the national team.

“I am not only their teacher or coach. I am also their friend,” Tekin told Hurriyet.

“Many said these students will not go on studying in the school. Now they shine like diamonds.”

Located in Istanbul’s west, Esenyurt was known as a district of blue-collar workers and poor and migrant families. With the construction boom of large residential complexes in the area in the past few years, Esenyurt benefited from major development. It now has four cultural centers.

According to the newspaper, Tekin has been referred to as Ken Howard, of the US TV series “The White Shadow. It tells the story of a white former NBA professional, who retires and gets a job as a basketball coach in a black inner-city high school.

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