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The organizing committee of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August has invited 23 children from the earthquake-stricken region of Turkey to Hungary. The initiative was announced to coincide with the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul last weekend, the first major international sporting event in Turkey since the disaster in early February that has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
According to a statement from the organizers, the invitation to Turkish children from the devastated cities was handed over to Gülsen Karanis Eksioglu, Turkey’s ambassador to Budapest, by Ádám Schmidt, government commissioner, and Balázs Németh, CEO of Budapest 2023 Zrt., the organizer of the championships.
We believe in the power of sport to connect people around the world and help them overcome the most difficult times.
By inviting the children to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, we want to give them a special experience and we are confident that the days spent with us will help heal their emotional wounds,” said Ádám Schmidt, Secretary of State for Sport.
“The Turkish organizers deserve every credit for hosting Europe’s best athletes despite the earthquake four weeks ago and the extremely difficult conditions. We came to Istanbul as observers and personally delivered the news of the invitation to the stranded children,” said Balázs Németh.
The 23 children selected by the Turkish side and their escorts will travel to Budapest with the support of the World Athletics Championships’ organizing committee in August, where they will have the opportunity to get to know the city and visit the biggest sporting event in Hungary’s history.
Featured photo via Facebook/World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023