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European athletics community pays tribute to earthquake victims

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With competition well underway at Istanbul’s Atakoy Arena, athletes, officials and fans are continuing to remember and support those affected by last month’s earthquake.

European Athletics is donating €1 for every ticket sold for the Istanbul 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships since 7 February to support earthquake victims.

Athletes and fans send their messages of support

European Athletics has also received messages of support for the people in Türkiye from both athletes and fans. Yesterday, athletes and officials wrote their messages of support on the backboard used at the press conference.

Dutch indoor 400m world record-holder Femke Bol’s message read: “We are all supporting you” and the words from France’s double world champion Kevin Mayer were: “All my thoughts for the victims and their families. May they rest in peace.”

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And following his 1500m heat on Thursday, Jakob Ingebrigtsen shared his message of support: “We all feel with Turkish people because of the recent events. At the same time, we are all grateful to get an opportunity to have a championships, considering all circumstances.

“It is important to be a part of this championships and hopefully to inspire all people to come, watch and cheer for us. Sport is a good thing in a difficult time. Hopefully, we can contribute that the situation gets better.”

Head to @europeanathletics on Instagram where we have been sharing some of your messages on social media.

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Member Federations show solidarity

Member Federations have also been showing solidarity with the people of Türkiye through various projects and funding programmes.

Dutch athletes competing at Istanbul 2023 are wearing stickers on warm up kit and flags promoting Giro 555 – the Netherlands’ Emergency Appeals Alliance – to encourage people to donate to support recovery efforts.

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Meanwhile, athletics clubs in the Netherlands have been holding auctions to raise money, and the Dutch Athletics Federation (KNAU) is also hoping to hold its own auction following the championships, with items such as Istanbul 2023 race numbers, kit and shoes from athletes up for grabs. Head to the Netherlands Athletics Federation website to find out more.

Elsewhere, Greek Olympic champion Miltos Tentoglou auctioned his spikes for €20,000 which was donated to the Government of Turkey’s Disaster Management Agency (AFAD), to be used for humanitarian aid for earthquake survivors in Turkey.

A symbolic check was awarded during the official European Athletics – LOC Lunch by the President of the Hellenic Athletic Association (SEGAS) Sofia Sakorafa to the President of Turkish Athletics Federation Fatih Cintimar, highlighting the role sport can play in building solidarity and friendship between people.

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Share your own messages of support

We want to continue to show how much love and support there is in the athletics community for people in Türkiye, so please share your videos and voice or written messages with us on social media.

If you wish to help financially, European Athletics strongly recommends that you make any donations directly through a recognised and reputable organisation such as the Government of Türkiye’s Disaster Management Agency, also known as AFAD.

Femke Bol image by BSR Agency

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