Ankara, Türkiye — The Türkiye Ragbi Federasyonu received the Social Responsibility Project Award during the 8th Sporun Devleri Buluşuyor (Giants of Sports Are Coming Together) awards ceremony held on Tuesday. Presented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ülke TV, the awards ceremony recognised 30 Sports Giants who are doing world-class sports work in all realms of sporting success. TRF was recognised for delivering Pass It Back Recovery in Adıyaman for children affected by the massive earthquakes that hit the country earlier this year.

“We thank the award giving body, and most especially, the Pass It Back Coaches as well as their supportive parents, for working together to make an impact,” said Nahit Şahin, Türkiye Rugby President. “As the community rebuilds from the earthquake, Coaches with the support of players’ parents, ensured that over 600 registered players have a safe space to play, learn, and lead through rugby.”

“We are using rugby as a tool to help young people and children affected by the earthquake to overcome their traumas, rediscover themselves, and decide what they want to do in their lives,” said Hatice Kübra Yılmaz, Türkiye Rugby representative and an international Grassroots to Global leader. Grassroots to Global is a series of Forums uniting women who are leading grassroots rugby across communities and countries. The initiative, supported by ChildFund Rugby, has engaged Unions across six continents. Pass It Back Recovery in Türkiye has built off the success of Grassroots to Global.

“They are discovering a new sport, and in this regard, this work is very important. Additionally, our young coaches gain a wonderful opportunity to work with children. They are trying to heal their own wounds, as well as the wounds of those children – it’s a truly beautiful thing,” Hatice added.

Türkiye Rugby Federation, in partnership with ChildFund Rugby and with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, delivers Pass It Back in Adıyaman so that children can benefit from structured, play-based learning during earthquake recovery in impacted communities. Pass It Back Recovery has been generously supported by World Rugby and Beyond Sport, together with W Rugby and DHL Express, as well as by ChildFund Rugby supporters from around the world.

Jason Lewis, Director of Participation for World Rugby said: “We are proud to see initiatives like this take off because it shows how rugby can unite people to create positive change. Congratulations to the TRF for this much-deserved award and we are looking forward to the next steps for these children and young people in rugby and in their communities following their Pass It Back participation.”

Now on its second season, Pass It Back in Türkiye has 16 Coaches and 600 players active, half of them women and girls. Alongside rugby, the season offers life skills learning that focuses on building safe and supportive networks, as well as skills to plan for the future.

“Sport brings people together when it is delivered with intention. It can build knowledge, skills and attitudes that are transferable into everyday life. We have seen in Adıyaman the power of rugby to support communities recovering from disasters,” said Chris Mastaglio, ChildFund Rugby Director. “Congratulations to TRF for their award and I hope they will serve as inspiration for other Unions in their region and beyond. I would also like to acknowledge the support of those that invested in the partnership, and to recognise the support of the Government of Türkiye.”

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Pass It Back Recovery – Türkiye is delivered through a partnership between the Turkish Rugby Federation and ChildFund Rugby.

Pass It Back Recovery – Türkiye has been generously supported by World Rugby and Beyond Sport, together with W Rugby and DHL Express, as well as by ChildFund Rugby supporters from across the world.

Türkiye Ragbi Federasyonu is the national governing body for rugby in Türkiye. Türkiye Ragbi Federasyonu is a full member of Rugby Europe and World Rugby.

ChildFund Rugby partners to provide children and young people with opportunities to play, learn and lead. Using integrated rugby and life skills learning, young people from vulnerable communities are equipped to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change, and take active leadership roles within their communities.

ChildFund Rugby and World Rugby have partnered for 4 Rugby World Cups and continue to work closely to deliver evidence-based social impact and sustainable game growth globally.ChildFund Rugby is led by ChildFund Australia, a member of the ChildFund Alliance – a global network of 11 organisations positively impacting nearly 36 million children and their families in 70 countries.