The primary events during PPI – CY’s program year are it’s bi-communal events, where children from the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot communities meet on the basketball court. Island-wide tournaments, 3-on-3 tournaments, twinnings, or summer basketball camps are all examples of how PPI – CY brings the two communities together through the game of basketball. Without these experiences, the PPI – CY experience would not be as comprehensive and educational as it currently is.
While these experiences are essential to the PPI – CY educational experience, there is also room for activity within each PPI – CY community. Last week, PPI – CY teams from Famagusta and Iskele/Trikomo played a friendly match between its boys teams. It was a great opportunity for two Turkish-Cypriot teams to show off their skills, and for coach Bahar Mevlit (Famagusta) and Sevki Pirlanta (Iskele/Trikomo) to demonstrate their coaching abilities in a game situation. It was great practice for everyone. Everyone from each team got to play, and everyone walked away from the court smiling and laughing, after a good time was had by all.
Last night, PPI – CY’s boys team from Agios Antonios, in the Greek-Cypriot town of Limassol, had the opportunity to watch Limassol’s professional basketball club, AEL, play a EuroCup game against Crotia’s Cedevita from the city of Zagreb. While sitting courtside was cool enough, the boys were actually invited by the club to make their way onto the court to shoot around during the intermission. The home team won, and fun was had by all.
Even though the global financial crisis has affected every aspect of Cypriot civil society, it has not prevented PPI – CY from still offering a great basketball experience to all of its participants. Whether its sitting courtside at EuroCup games, or playing friendly matches with fellow peace-builders from the same community, there are many aspects to the PPI – CY experience, with each one complimenting the overall goal of bringing the two communities closer through the game of basketball.
P.S. Want to take a simple action to support PeacePlayers International in Cyprus? We’re now eligible for inclusion in the latest edition of CauseWorld, a mobile app that lets you earn “karmas” – badges backed up by donations from Citi and Kraft – for your favorite causes just by visiting your own local hangouts. Vote for PPI to be one of three new Causes included in this round. (You can find us fourth from the bottom of the list on the right.) There’s no registration required and, with just a few seconds of your time, you’ll help PPI continue to work for a peaceful future in Cyprus and other deeply divided communities around the world!