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Ottoman Archery Club: A tale of unity and pursuit of heritage in Kimberley

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The AR Abass Stadium played host to history in the making as the Ottoman Archery Club, under the guidance of the Turkish Consulate General Sinan Yesildag, celebrated its launch and inaugural exhibition recently.

Archers from the newly established Ottoman Archery Club is seen demonstrating their skills. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The AR Abass Stadium played host to history in the making as the Ottoman Archery Club, under the guidance of the Turkish Consulate General Sinan Yesildag, celebrated its launch and inaugural exhibition. It was a heartening affair that didn’t just mark a beginning but painted a canvas of shared heritage, individual journeys, and amiable connections.

The event served as an introduction of the club to Kimberley, whilst simultaneously extending a warm greeting to the Turkish Consulate General. Among the attendees were not just families and local residents but officials too, all drawn by the allure of archery.

The backdrop of Kimberley’s diversity lent a special hue to the occasion, aiming to foster connections that transcended the mere exercise of arrows hitting targets.

Seen from left are the Northern Cape MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Desery Fienies, Turkish Consulate General Sinan Yesildag and Turish Cooperation and Coodination Agent Abdülkadir Abukan. Picture: Danie van der Lith

In his speech, Yesildag spoke about the day being a bridge linking the shared history of Turkey and South Africa. He drew parallels to the establishment of the Ottoman cricket club in Cape Town 144 years ago, highlighting the legacy of cultural exchange through sports.

Amidst the buzz, Abdülkadir Abukan, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agent, engaged in discussions to comprehend the club’s aspirations and needs. His active involvement showcased Turkey’s commitment to nurturing this cultural partnership.

The poignant highlight of the day echoed through Ottoman archer Nurah Isaacs’ impassioned address. Her narrative unfolded as a journey adorned with resilience, discovery, and the transformative power of her devotion to archery.

Nurah Isaacs is seen delivering a speech during the event. Picture: Danie van der Lith

“Today, I stand before you not just as an archer but as someone who has felt the transformative power of pursuing a passion. My journey into the world of archery was inspired by Turkish series like Ertugrul and Osman. Little did I know that picking up a bow and arrow would lead me on a path of self-discovery, resilience, and incredible achievements.

“Just a year ago, the bow in my hands became a symbol of determination. Watching those arrows soar through the air, I saw the potential for change – one shot at a time. Within three short months, my family and I proudly represented our province.

“Six months of intense dedication later, I found myself on the National Development Team, representing my country. Each arrow released was a testament to belief and persistence,” Nurah said.

“Archery has become a metaphor for facing adversity head-on, for pulling back the bowstring of life and letting go, trusting that our efforts will hit the mark.

“To anyone with a dream or passion, take that first step. Whether it’s archery or any other pursuit, remember that the journey is as important as the destination. Embrace challenges, celebrate victories, and let each arrow released be a symbol of courage and resilience,” she added.

An archer is seen shooting with a compound bow. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The act of the Turkish Consulate donating bows and arrows was not just symbolic; it represented a pledge of enduring support for the club’s future endeavours.

As the event drew to a close, the club’s archers took centre stage, their displays symbolising not just precision but also embodying the spirit of resilience and the collective hope for a future brightened by cultural unity.

The Ottoman Archery Club’s inaugural flourish is not merely a start; it’s a testimony to shared dreams, passions, and unity. As arrows found their mark, they whispered a simple yet profound message: that when shared passions unite, barriers dissolve, and hearts find a common rhythm.

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