15 thousand young athletes in Rojava

Sports activities have become widespread in Northern and Eastern Syria since 2014, and see the participation of some 15 thousand young people.

Bozan Berkel, co-chair of the Northern and Eastern Syria Sports Union, said that they see sports as something rooted in society and that they are trying to reach all young people by providing opportunities for them to get access to various sports.

In 1983, Kurds in Rojava organized themselves from village to village and held football, volleyball and basketball competitions. The most popular sport was football.

The sports organization, which dates back to 1983, began to grow stronger in 2014 with the Rojava Revolution. There are Jazira, Afrin, Euphrates Region, Tabqa, Raqqa, Manbij and Deir ez-Zor Sports Councils that provide both training and organization.

These 7 sports councils are organized as city-by-city committees. In addition to these councils, there are also Northern and Eastern Syrian Sports Offices. Team sports (football, volleyball, basketball), individual sports (such as chess, karate, cycling, equestrian, athletics, swimming, shooting, pole vaulting, tennis), women's sports (all disciplines), are organized in 8 departments. The departments also deal with all the legal aspects, athlete's participation conditions in the team, the bond between teams or clubs, negotiate the conditions for teams to join the leagues, establish relations with the outside to ensure that there are leagues in the region etc.

There is the Northern and Eastern Syria Sports Union, to which 7 councils, 8 offices and sports clubs are affiliated. This was established this year to ensure that sports activities have an umbrella and are more strongly organised.

In order to take part in the Northern and Eastern Syria Sports Union, sports clubs must have at least two individual and team sports, participate in sports events regularly, including at least one women's team and the number of club members must be at least 75.

15 thousand young people involved

With approximately 15 thousand young people taking part in sports activities, sports clubs want to form teams in sports branches and participate in competitions, provide personal development and train new athletes.

Women's Sports Clubs are organized as Peyman, Waşokanî, Vedeng Sports Club in the Jazira Region, Nesrîn Sports Club, Tabqa Sports Club in Kobanê, and El Furat Sports Club in Raqqa.

The sports clubs where both male and female athletes take part are Zîban, Serdem, Tabqa Youth, Manbij Youth, Bakur, El Furat and Nisrîn Sports Club.

While the 12 March Martyrs Stadium and Heysem Kiço Stadium in Qamishlo are used especially for football, there are also sports halls for football, volleyball and individual team games in Manbij, Raqqa, Kobanê, Tabqa and Tirbêspiyê. In Qamishlo, preparations for a new sports hall where all sports can be performed are continuing.