This is a copy of a news article from June 2013.
KTLN would like to introduce you to a fledgeling club that is about to take off.
The Kalkan Lykian Rugby Football Club (KLRFC) is the idea of Keith White, a British born rugby fan, who has settled in Kalkan
But as we shall explain, this is not an expat social club - it has a community based ethos, which aims to embrace the youth of Kalkan.
First of all, we want to let you know that Keith and a group of like minded people, are holding a KLRFC launch party at Parc Kalkan this Saturday 22nd June.
The launch, nicknamed "Lunch with the Lions" coincides with the first test match between the British Lions and Australia, which will be screened live. Kick off is at 13.00, and Lion burgers and bacon butties wll be available at half time.
Whilst you are there, you can find out more about the KLRFC. But to give you some insight, KTLN met up with Keith and we asked him what it is all about.
Keith told KTLN that initially this started out as a few rugby union fans wanting to arrange get togethers to watch matches on TV - both live games, and some classic rugby encounters. So it would be fair to say that it started out as a social group.
But they soon began talking about all the positive spin offs from the game of rugby, and how it could be something that enhances the already vibrant Kalkan community. In particular, they would love to introduce this international sport to the children of Kalkan - both boys and girls.
Below: KLRFC supporters at Parc Kalkan.
Rugby in Turkey
You may be surprised to learn that Turkey has a national rugby union team, and there are 13 team clubs - mostly in the larger cities, in the north west of the country. The national coach is Irishman, Niall Doherty,
The closest team to Kalkan is the Kuşadası Eagles, on the Aegean coast. A few months ago, the national team were playing in an international tournament, in nearby Antalya.
And believe it or not, the massive sports clubs of Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray once had rugby union teams. The last match they played was back in 1947, when Fenerbahçe beat Galatasaray, in front of 18,000 fans.
It is far from being a mainstream sport in Turkey, but the KLRFC is undaunted. It's growing in popularity here, and with Istanbul bidding for the 2020 games, it is interesting to note that 7 a side rugby will be back as an Olympic sport in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Turkey will be fielding both men's and women's teams.
Sport for youth
Another angle on this is that rugby union could be a welcome additional sport for the young boys and girls in Kalkan. Over the coming weeks, months and years, the KLRFC would like to work with local Turkish co-ordinators, and schools, to introduce the sport to local children.
In fact, children don't start out playing the full game; they would begin with "tag rugby", which is non-contact variety of the main game, and would progress to 7 a side rugby, before hopefully moving on to the 15 a side game.
Anyone who knows anything about rugby union will appreciate that it can be a tough, physical sport, but when the final whistle blows, players shake hands and have a drink together. And the fans are just as friendly. There is much to be admired about the spirit in which this game is played, both on and off the pitch.
The game of rugby union could be beneficial to local children in a number of ways - it's a healthy outdoor sport; it teaches them discipline and teamwork; they would develop a camaraderie, and at very simple level, it gives them something interesting to do with their time.
Who knows - by the time the 2020 Olympics come round, we could have a Kalkan player in the Turkish national team, given a bit of local support and enthusiasm. Why not?
Support for the KLRFC
This initiative needs support, if it is to have an impact. Local support is key, but Keith has also been in touch with people involved in the Turkish game at a more senior level.
He has already had positive feedback from Öytun Çölok, (above, left), who is the Chairman of the Turkish Federation of Rugby Football, and also editor of the Rugby Turkey magazine.
The club logo
Keith has already found a number of local supporters, and you may see some of them sporting the club shirt - with its harlequin style quarters, in black, red and silver. See photo above.
The logo incorporates the three legged raven, from Lycian mythology. It also features the Turkish crescent moon and star.
If you want to show some support for this new group, you can go along to the initial meeting this Saturday 22nd June.
Alternatively, you can email them at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
KTLN wishes them well in their aim to bring the sport of rugby to a wider audience, and in particular we applaud their intention to work on a project that involves the whole community, and has a focus on Kalkan's younger generation. Kolay gelsin.
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