As 2018 drew to a close, a group of scholarship students, SPARK staff, and friends came together in the centre of Gaziantep, Turkey, to run the Gazi Half Marathon. The weekend brought SPARK staff and the sports community of Gaziantep together for a cause; a healthy, cohesive and dynamic community comprised of local people and refugees.

This was the 5th edition of the Gazi Half Marathon and the number of participants exceeded 60,000! The SPARK team members took their places at the front of the start line, full of motivation.


The event consisted of 2 different stages: a 5km public run, followed by a 21km half marathon. Over 1000 professional athletes from 50 cities joined the race and were cheered on by the people of Gaziantep, who turned out in their thousands to support family, friends and neighbours.

The race, organised by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, has been a unique opportunity for young people in particular to show their passion outside of their classrooms. Unequivocally, the best part of the Gazi Half Marathon for SPARK was being able to take part in the race alongside Syrian and Turkish students, adding social value to this memorable experience.

Are you interested in joining our efforts for the next year’s run?

You can join us in raising awareness about the issues of migration and youth overcoming their educational and labour market challenges by following us on social media for updates and signing up for the event next year.

Many thanks to everyone who ran, cheered, and supported the sports community of Gaziantep during the Gazi Half Marathon weekend and many thanks to the European Union for supporting us with the MADAD Fund!



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