Fethiye is a great place for sport and not all are just for fun. Events, competitions and tournaments regularly take place in different parts of the town. There are plenty of competitive sports to choose from; on the land, in the air and on the water. For example, there’s paragliding, dinghy sailing, kayaking, SUPping, cycling, volleyball, base jumping, diving, athletics, jogging, kite surfing, fencing, football, tennis and badminton. And that’s just for starters.
Competing for Fethiye
What makes Fethiye rather special is that there are currently two British born residents who have been chosen to compete for the town: one is in the rowing team and one in the para volleyball team. Last weekend both were taking part in competitions, so Fethiye Times went along and joined with the cheering supporters in two very different but equally demanding sports.
Sarah Louise Akkaya and Alan Askin were both born in the UK but have settled in Fethiye. They love their adopted home and their commitment is clear when they’re competing – they put all their energy into their respective sports – heart, body and soul.
A sporting life
Sarah came to Fethiye just over a decade ago, where she leads a busy life with a young family to care for. But she is very sporty too. Recently Sarah ran in the Antalya 10k and is currently training to become a yoga teacher. What’s more, she has recently joined the town’s sea rowing team as the coxswain (“cox” for short).
This member of the crew is responsible for steering the boat and shouting encouragement to the rowers. Sarah is also rowing for the team in a single scull.
The Mediterranean Cup
Last Saturday and Sunday Fethiye hosted the Akdeniz Cup (Mediterranean Cup) at the rowing club in İkinci Karagözler. This was Sarah’s first competition and she readily admitted that she was rather anxious. Even so, her nerves certainly didn’t prevent her from doing an excellent job in the women’s solo 1,000m race and then in the men’s x 4 1,000m race.
Three cheers for Sarah (and the rest of the team)!
Fethiye Belediye Spor (Fethiye Municipality Sports)
1,000m Women’s x 1 sea sculling
Sarah Lousie Akkaya
07.19,20 / 4th place
Fethiye Belediye Spor (Fethiye Municipality Sports)
1,000m Men’s x 4 sea rowing
Ali İçten – Tolga Çeşmeli, Fatih Saatci, Emre Bulut, Sarah Lousie Akkaya (cox)
04.20,64 / 3rd place
A day full of excitement
It was a wonderful sight to see Sarah and the rest of the team collecting their medals, which were presented by the Mayor of Fethiye, Behçet Saatci.
The event was well attended and in the warm spring sunshine the competitors and their supporters, from many different parts of Turkey made a colourful sight.
We congratulate Sarah and wish her and the rest of the team every success for their future races. We also highly recommend that anyone who is interested in this sport makes a point of going to future competitions. They really are great fun.
For the love of sport and the team spirit
Last year we interviewed Alan Askin, who came to live in Fethiye seven years ago. He told us that his love of sport has not diminished since a spinal cord injury from a work related incident made him a wheelchair user. He can often be seen out and about in his recumbent bike or in his customised wheelchair.
Wearing the fethiye shirt
Then there are other times when he can be seen in his Fethiye strip (he’s No.10) playing sitting-volleyball. Last weekend Alan was playing for Fethiye at the excellent Beşkaza Sports’ Hall on the Üzümlü Road just outside Çatalarık. Here, the two sitting volleyball courts became centre-stage for some very tough games.
Fethiye was host to the 1st League 2nd stage competition, organized by the (TBESF) [Türkiye Bedensel Engelliler Spor Federasyonu – Turkey’s Physical Disabilities Sports Federation].
In front of a small but enthusiastic and highly vocal crowd, Alan, like the rest of the team, played very well. For the record they lost one game 3-2 and won their last game 3-0.
Once again, we strongly recommend the experience of being a spectator at these tournaments. The atmosphere is truly electric.
Fethiye’s para-volleyball Team
The Fethiye para volleyball team was founded last year and travel all over Turkey, from Zonguldak in the North to Adana in the East and everywhere in between, playing in the National Competition.
Alan explains that it is a young team compared with the other 14 teams, in that the other teams have been playing for maybe five or more years. However, the team trains three nights a week and is going from strength to strength and winning more matches every time they play competitively.
The team members all have varying degrees of disability and they complement each other. There is a great camaraderie within the Fethiye team and they are all indebted to their coach, Aycan, who puts a lot of time and effort into their training regime. As a team they enjoy their time together both when training and socializing.
Funding comes from the Fethiye Municipality and Muğla Metropolitan Authority. They also cover accommodation costs and provide a special coach adapted for wheelchairs when the team travels to other tournaments.
Alan says a big thank to the support team that includes Bulent, the coach driver, and also families and friends who help with logistics and come along to training sessions and matches.
Fethiye Times events calandar
Future events will be added to the Fethiye Times events calendar, What’s On Fethiye, as we hear about them.