Vaulting in Turkey has recently developed and we have talked to Team Extopia from Istanbul. Get to know the team around Tolga Akar and their amazing work to make vaulting more popular!

Tolga Akar, the trainer of Team Extopia, has started vaulting in Turkey. Since he is a good rider and a gymnast, he decided to start with vaulting in Turkey.

At the moment there are three vaulting clubs with approximately 45 vaulters in the country.

About Team Extopia

Team Extopia has been formed doing an audition under the leadership of Tolga Akar.

They train 3 days a week on the horse, 2 days compulsory exercises and 1 day freestyle exercises. Additionally, they have gymnastic trainings 2 days a week. They also train on the barrel before training on the horse 3 days a week. The smallest team member is 11 years old, four team members are 14 and the team captain is 18.

What are the goals of Team Extopia?

Actually, we aimed to compete in the CVI in Hungary, but because of the global pandemic all organizations has been cancelled. Our next goal is to compete at the European Championship, then the World Championship if we can progress as much as we aim. Of course, we also want to compete in the Olympic Games if vaulting is included again 🙂

What do you do to make vaulting more popular?

“Vaulting is getting popular day by day since our trainer works hard to do so. We are working with schools and also colleges. Soon, in a national university vaulting will be taught as a class. We also work with the national TV channels and appear on TV to make people more familiar with the branch. At times, we perform shows before or in between in showjumping competitions to encourage other clubs as well.”

Where do you get your knowledge from?

“Our trainer, Tolga Akar met vaulting with a Belgian trainer, Mathias Gramme when he was a child. Since then, he always dreamt about starting and spreading vaulting in Turkey. That’s where our trainer also gets his vaulting knowledge from. We attent camps and clinics in other countries. Our international advisor is Frank Spadinger. We also have clinics and trainings with Jannis Drewell.”

What would you need most to be able to compete and develop vaulting in Turkey?

“To develop vaulting in Turkey one of the things that we most need is a dynamic barrel. We buy all of our other equipments from Germany. But the dynamic barrel is quite difficult for us to get.”

What about vaulting competitions in Turkey?

“We organize national competitions. We aimed to compete at the CVI in Hungary but because of the global pandemic all organizations have been cancelled. Our next goal is to compete at the European Championship, then the World Championship.

How are you connected to the rest of the Vaulting World?

Since we started vaulting in Turkey very recently we do not have strong connections with the rest of the Vaulting World but we try to follow the innovations and developments very closely. Hope we have stronger and better connections as we proceed.”

Do you have support from your National Equestrian Federation?

“Yes, our national federation accepted vaulting as a official branch and it’s also very supportive. We determined the rules of our national competitions mostly based on FEI rules.”