The therapeutic recreation activity organised by MARTI (Marmara Recreational Therapy Istanbul) comprising the volunteers of the Faculty of Sports Sciences of Mamara University was held at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Silivrikapı Ice Rink under the slogan “We’re Overcoming the Barriers on the Ice Rink.”
The first part of the activity took place on December 19, 2018 at Silivrikapı Ice Rink (Istanbul) with the contributions of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Youth and Sports Directorate, the support of the Sports Istanbul ice skating trainers, the sponsorship of Polin Waterparks and the participation of the physically-challenged members of the Turkish Paraplegic Association (TOFD).
The story of this sustainable therapeutic recreation project that involves different stakeholders was described by Marmara University Sports Sciences Faculty Lecturer Tayfur Özkan as follows: “The idea for the project came from a presentation that some third-year students prepared for their Recreation course last year; these students are the ones organizing the event today. Twenty volunteer students organized and divided themselves into groups to undertake the tasks of finding equipment, communicating with the societies for the disabled, finding sponsorships, facilities, contacting stakeholder corporations and making use of the social media. After sponsorship discussions were held, an agreement was signed with the sponsor company, and 9 volunteer students conducted this year’s project research and operations. The first part of the activity took place on December 19, 2018 at the IMM’S Silivrikapı Ice Rink. Fifteen volunteer students in the third year class of Marmara University Sports Sciences Faculty Sports Management Department (the MARTI group), employees of the IMM Youth and Sports Directorate Sports Services Department, 4 disabled individuals and 1 administrator from the Turkish Paraplegic Association, 4 ice skating trainers from Sports Istanbul Silivrikapı Ice Rink, the Marketing Director of Polin as well as 1 cameraman and 1 photographer from the IMM Web TV team attended the event.
Söhret Pakis, Director of Marketing and Communications, Polin Waterparks said: “We thank all of the people who contributed their ideas, hearts and efforts to make this journey possible, transforming a student project’s dream into reality and making so many people glow with happiness. We on our part as a brand are very happy to have made this tiny contribution to a sustainable social responsibility project that is full of goodness and returns so much back to the community. The credit for the real contribution and labor belongs to the students. Taking their inspiration from nature, they were able to bring together different stakeholders to bring to life a project that touches the hearts of universe. I feel grateful. ”
In the second stage of the project, works will continue to enlist the participation of other associations for the disabled, to bring together volunteers and the physically-challenged and to make ice skating courses available to whomever in these groups is interested.