Sports as a Way of Life!

As we start the new academic year, I would like to extend a warm welcome to new and returning Bilkent students.

You have entered or are continuing at one of the best universities in Turkey. Just as Bilkent excels in terms of academic quality, it also offers students great opportunities to exercise, develop athletic skills and participate in team sports as part of a well-rounded university experience. The Physical Education and Sports Center offers a wide range of programs in world-class sports facilities. These include three multi-purpose sports halls, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, four mini football fields and a grass football field. In the Dormitories Sports Hall, a state-of-the-art fitness center has top-notch exercise and fitness equipment on hand. Also available for your use are three squash courts, regulation-size basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor running track, two aerobic/step and multi-use studios, a table tennis room and locker rooms. All the facilities you need for sports, exercise and fun can be found right here on campus.

As far as programs and classes go, here's what we offer for you at our sports facilities: a rich selection of aerobic/step classes; a variety of martial arts programs (aikido, kendo, taekwondo, wing chun, etc.); four different racket sports programs (badminton, squash, table tennis, tennis); as well as fencing, horseback riding, ice-skating, ultimate frisbee, ballroom dancing and Turkish folk dancing.

If competition is your favorite form of athletic activity, we invite you to try out for our school teams, in sports that include American football, badminton, basketball, fencing, football, ice hockey, orienteering, squash, table tennis, tennis and volleyball. Our "Sports as a Way of Life" program is growing constantly every year. In this program, students are automatically assigned to eight "mountain groups": Ağrı, Erciyes, Davraz, Ilgaz, Nemrut, Palandöken, Toros and Uludağ.

The students have the responsibility of organizing within their groups to form teams in basketball, football and volleyball in order to compete in intramural tournaments during the fall and spring semesters. The students can also participate in individual sport tournaments such as badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis, and have the opportunity to take part in runs and other special events held each semester.

At the end of the academic year, the winners in each category of the program are determined, with awards given to the top finishers. If you would like to participate in "Sports as a Way of Life," you can go to and follow the services menu.

Let me close by reminding you of an often-repeated saying that's also very true: exercise and fitness add life to one's years, not just years to one's life. Take advantage of what's available to you, make it part of your lifestyle and, above all, enjoy.

Dr. Hayri Özkan, Director, Physical Education and Sports Center