London, UK (PRWEB UK) 7 April 2014
On 6 April, The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) supported one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar – the Oxford–Cambridge University Boat Race (BNY Mellon Boat Race). This was the 160th meeting between the student rowers from Oxford and Cambridge, and an estimated seven million people watched the race around the world. It was broadcast on a range of channels, including the BBC, Eurosport (over 100 countries), Reuters, EBU, ZDF and ARD. Naturally, television coverage was seen in Azerbaijan, and TEAS was pleased to back this British institution by sponsoring the Tracy Edwards Boat House in Putney.
A TEAS banner reading 'TEAS – connecting Europe and Azerbaijan' was shown during much of the BBC television coverage, notably during an interview with the record-breaking pioneering yachtswoman Tracy Edwards OBE. She is currently raising funds for the Maiden Trust, which aims to rescue and restore and refit 'Maiden'. This was the yacht sailed by Tracy and her crew in 1989 when they successfully completed the Whitbread Round the World race – being the first all-female crew to do so.
Sport is becoming increasingly important to Azerbaijan, which achieved a tally of 10 medals in the London Olympics. Impressive new stadia and other facilities are currently being constructed across the country, which will host the inaugural European Olympic Games in 2015. It is expected that more than 5000 athletes from 49 countries will participate. One of the featured sports will be the Canoe Sprint – the oldest canoeing discipline. During the London Olympics, one Azerbaijani rower, Aleksander Aleksandrov, finished fifth in the single sculls.
Some of the brightest Azerbaijani students are currently studying at both Oxbridge universities, where there are active student societies. There are also strong academic relations. Earlier this year, the Azerbaijani Studies Group was launched at Cambridge, and late last year the Nizami Ganjavi Scientific Centre of Azerbaijani and Caucasian Studies opened at Oxford.
Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, said: “We are delighted to support this historic event. The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a prime example of how tradition and sporting excellence can raise the profile and standing of an institution or country.”