Gökberk Ergeneman was just eight when he started his tennis career.
And it’s all thanks to his mother, Arzu Ergeneman, who was also a Turkish national tennis player.
Since then, Gokberk has had multiple successes on the national and international tennis scene.
Gokberk is now gearing up to represent Turkey at the inaugural Gallipoli Games, in honour of the 100th year anniversary of the Battle of çanakkale.
Gokberk is in his second-year of a business management degree at Ozyegin University in Istanbul.
“I’m really happy and extremely excited to be taking part in the Gallipoli Games,” he says.
“The Battle of Çanakkale ended with our [Turkish] victory, but with huge losses on all sides. That’s why this tournament is a significant one for all of the participating countries.”
Gokberk was just 14 when he was a finalist in the men’s national singles in Turkey. In the same year, he was awarded the doubles’ title.
In 2011, him and EfeYurtacan became the first men’s doubles team to win bronze at the European Championships in the under 16’s category.
“When I was 18 I won quite a few national championships, but for me the most important was winning the title at the Dubai Championships, and Nazmi Bari Cup which was organised through my home club, TED Sports Club.”
Gokberk also represented Turkey at the 2013 Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia, and won the national Turkish title with his club TED.
And now, he’s aiming for gold at Gallipoli.
“The victory at Gallipoli was earned 100 years agobecause of Mustafa Kemal. As an athlete, I truly believe the victory at Çanakkale shows how belief in success gives us the greatest energy on earth.”
“I know how much Ataturk valued sportspeople. As someone who follows in his footsteps, I know I’ll try my absolute best to be successful at Gallipoli.”