The University of York Cycling club has been chosen to represent Great Britain at the inaugural Gallipoli Games in Istanbul, Turkey next month.
Taking place between the 25 and 29 April, this new international sporting competition will take place every two years, bringing together student athletes from Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
The Games will mark the centenary celebration of the Gallipoli landings in which the Allied powers of Russia, Britain and France launched a naval attack and amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula, part of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
The event will be broadcasted to over 70 countries across the globe with the cycling scheduled for the 27 April. Through sport, the competition will honour those who lost their lives in the war while also promoting peace and foster ongoing friendships between the participating countries.
Cycling is one of a number of sports on offer, with athletes also competing in basketball, triathlon, cross-country, swimming, sailing, tennis, beach volleyball and rugby.
Jonny Ruffell, the President of the Cycling Club, told Nouse, “UYCC are thrilled to have been chosen to race against six other universities at the inaugural Gallipoli Games in Istanbul.
“Five of our best men and five of our best women will race. The women will complete one lap of a 40 mile course with the men completing two laps.
“The games are under 5 weeks away and all our riders are training are hard so we can do York, British Cycling and Great Britain proud.
“Personally, I’m incredibly excited for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Travelling to another country to ride and race has always been a dream of mine but the setting of the inaugural Gallipoli games takes it to another level. It’s going to be an incredible experience to be a part of!”
In 1915, the aim of the Allied campaign at the Battle of Gallipoli was to land on the peninsula and gain access to the Dardanelles straight, so that Allied naval fleets could attack the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople, from the Black Sea.
It is estimated that around half a million casualties resulted from the Battle, which was won by the Ottomans. The Battle is regarded as a defining moment in Turkey’s history.