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Turkish World champion Alperen Alkan visits South Africa

Hannah Omarjee | omarjeehannah9@gmail.com
17 February 2023 |  19:30 AM CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: Anadolu News Agency

World champion Alperen Alkan from Turkey has been visiting South Africa. He has been conducting workshops on archery and horseback archery. The first event occurred in Newcastle between the 10th and 12th of February. The second event will happen in Cape Town between the 17th and 18th of February, and the last event will occur in Johannesburg between the 19th and 20th of February.

Moulana Yusuf Bemath, the retreat organiser, said the participants are having a fantastic time with brother Alperen, who’s not just an archer or horseback archer who focuses only on the physical nature of the training but instead also gives the academic perspective and the history behind the techniques.

In Newcastle, 40 participants participated in the sunnah sports or the horseback archery clinic. Despite the rain and flooding in the city, they were able to have a full retreat. Moulana said, “It wasn’t just, for some people, sometimes retreats can be the ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’ type of experience.

Many people had come for a third time. “The participants were very eager to continue practising these sunnah activities in the Newcastle area. Unfortunately, many people only decided to book two and three days before the retreat, causing a flurry of emails or phone calls. Nevertheless, all the retreats were fully booked. Fifty participants took part in Friday’s clinic, and ten took part later in the day for the second session, where they did ground archery training. There will be a horseback archery retreat for the whole of Saturday.”

The horseback archery retreat is an introductory course for most people. Alperen has a world-class facility in Turkey and typically trains for over four days minimum for any person wanting to learn horseback archer. This course is for beginners to sit on the horse and shoot. If the participants have archery experience, it’s better; if they have both archery and horseback experience, it allows them to focus on their technique and stability.

On Sunday morning, Alperen is flying to Johannesburg, where he will have two sessions at Qurtuba. On Monday, he is having a horseback archery session for the whole day before he flies back to Turkey on Tuesday. Alperen has had an action-packed last few days in South Africa.

Moulana says, ” It is his first trip to Africa as a whole, and he has been to many other countries in the world where he conducted these workshops, and he’s been really impressed with South Africa.”

Many of the people he’s met have been very warm and welcoming, and the students are eager to learn. He also had the privilege of driving the Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town and was impressed with the country.

After the tragic earthquake in Turkey, Alperen hesitated to leave his country. However, he kept his word due to all the preparations and the booked tickets. Moulana said, ” He’s really been upset many days, many mornings. He reads the news on his phone and gets the news from back home, and he’s really depressed some mornings, and he becomes quite quiet, and then I understand, you know, it’s mentally really difficult for him to be here at the same time you know what’s happening to his country.”

Regarding late registrations for the Johannesburg retreat, unfortunately, it is sold out, and more people cannot be accommodated because of the logistics regarding the horses and bows. However, spectators are welcome.

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