The Youth and Sports Ministry announced Monday that successful athletes attending primary and middle schools will be able to attend private schools for free. Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu said in a written statement that the new regulation will save talented youth from the dilemma of pursuing a sports career or education.
The regulation comes after a protocol signed between the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Ministry of National Education. Kasapoğlu says it aims to support athletes from the start. Young athletes will be assessed based on a points system that will allow their admission into private schools free of charge. Medals in national and international tournaments will bring more points to athletes.
Athletes hailed the announcement. Ilayda Şen, a 13-year-old who represented Turkey in the Optimist Europe Tournament, a sailing regatta, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the decision was “what should have been.” “We are always working to bring titles to our country. This will be an incentive for all the young sportspeople,” she said.
Şeyma Hacıoğlu, a young taekwondo player, said athletes will now compete for school admission as well, calling the regulation a good morale booster for them.