Standing out as a sustainable social responsibility project in the field of sports, “Rackets Up” continues to bring children across Türkiye together through table tennis. The new destination for Rackets Up is Kırşehir. Launched in 2018 by Hitit, Türkiye's largest company exporting aviation and travel technologies, Rackets Up aims to instill in children and youth the habit of leading a healthy lifestyle through table tennis and regular physical activity. The project also contributes to the discovery of young talents and aims to foster athletes who will represent our country in this field. So far, 355 state schools, 370 teachers and 150,000 children have benefited from the project.
04.01.2024, Kırşehir – The Rackets Up project, initiated by Hitit, focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of promoting a healthy and high-quality life while reducing inequalities, has now come to life, bringing its positive impact to the children of Kırşehir. The Kırşehir phase of the project, carried out in Partnership with the Turkish Table Tennis Federation (TMTF), commenced with a launch event at the Kırşehir Sports Hall on January 3. The event was graced by the presence of Hüdayar Mete Buhara, the Governor of Kırşehir; Nevra Onursal Karaağaç, CMO at Hitit; Oktay Çimen, President of TMTF – along with members of the local protocol, students, and teachers from the selected schools participating in the project.
Professional Table Tennis Training with Experts
Within the scope of the project, over 15,000 students from 56 state schools in the central and district areas of Kırşehir will have the opportunity to access professional table tennis training. Rackets Up, which involves not only students but also teachers, will include 60 educators from Kırşehir. These teachers will participate in a course organized by the Turkish Table Tennis Federation in January, obtaining a Level 1 Table Tennis Coach certificate. Afterwards, children in school teams will have the opportunity to receive professional table tennis training with the support of the coaches. The project will also provide all necessary table tennis equipment for schools.
Being a sustainable table tennis project with professional coaching support, Rackets Up has been bringing children interested in table tennis – or those eager to explore a different sports discipline – together with the game since 2018.
Governor Hüdayar Mete Buhara expressed his delight regarding the project's arrival in Kırşehir and shared his thoughts on Rackets Up. He expressed his belief that Kırşehir, known for its inclination and achievements in sports, will carve a significant presence in the field of table tennis through the Rackets Up project. He highlighted this initiative as a commendable example of collaboration between the public and private sectors.
411 Schools, 430 Teachers, 160,000 Students
During the project launch, Nevra Onursal Karaağaç, CMO at Hitit, shared insights on the project: Rackets Up was conceived and executed as a long-term project, aligning with Hitit's commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. In collaboration with our valued Partner, the Turkish Table Tennis Federation, we have consistently connected children with table tennis all across Türkiye, maintaining an uninterrupted effort, except during the mandatory pandemic period. Rackets Up, designed to foster a lasting sports habit among children through a structured program, is currently active in Çorum, Isparta, Trabzon, Şanlıurfa, and Sakarya. Following the unfortunate earthquake in our country, our project extended its support to children in container cities in Kahramanmaraş and Malatya, leveraging the healing power of sports. Rackets Up has now reached Kırşehir. With the inclusion of Kırşehir, the total count of schools benefitting from the project will rise to 411, the student population will expand to 160,000, and the number of teachers undergoing coaching training will reach 430. In the aftermath of the regrettable earthquake in our nation, our project, focused on aiding children through the therapeutic influence of sports, has also extended its outreach to children residing in container cities in Kahramanmaraş and Malatya.
Looking forward to 2024, the project is set to expand into new cities.
Project Partner and President of TMTF, Oktay Çimen, conveyed the following thoughts:
Rackets Up aims not only to instill in children the habit of engaging in sports and leading a healthy lifestyle but also stands as a comprehensive social responsibility project. Its broader objective is to nurture future Olympic champions and athletes who will proudly represent our country on the global stage."