Abit Bostancı, a former field hockey player who works as a teacher in southeastern Turkey's Suruç, a town with a population of about 100,000, has managed to bring a top Turkish title to the team he formed there.
Bostancı, a physical education teacher at a village school, introduced the sport to his students four years ago.
With the limited opportunities for equipment and training facilities, students overcame the odds and secured a top title at the U-16 Men's Indoor Field Hockey Championship held in the Black Sea city of Trabzon this year. The team had clinched the third spot last year.
The Suruç Gençlik team has endeared the town to the sport and now wants to pursue a European campaign. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Bostancı said they were confident of success in European competitions. Bostancı said hockey helped students to socialize and he wanted to raise national field hockey players for his club. He said the students were "very well motivated and only need to work hard." He adds that parents come to him after the team's success to ask for their children to be included in the team. "I see a growing interest in hockey and that was what I really wanted to do when I set out to form the team," he adds.
Team captain Nasır Koştı says they were proud of winning the Turkish title and their next target was a European title. "We also want to play outdoors and win. Our training now focuses on outdoor events," Koştı says, adding that he dreamed of donning the jersey of the national team. "It is a beautiful sport and I can't recommend it enough," he added.