On Saturday December 3, PPI-CY held the Winter Basketball Tournament for all of the children of PeacePlayers around Cyprus. Over 130 children attended coming from 8 different cities and villages to play basketball on mixed teams. Combined with a host of parents and volunteers, this was PPI-CY’s largest tournament ever!
The tournament was organized as part of the European Union’s Year of Volunteerism. The event was held at the Poliproponitrio Basketball Courts in Nicosia. It was a great honor to have the Director of the European Commision in Cyprus, Androulla Kaminara, come to the tournament to meet the children and explain to them the importance of volunteerism in Cyprus.
“PeacePlayers organized this tournament to give an opportunity for Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children to play together in a fun and peaceful enviroment. In addition, PPI-CY is supporting the EU’s Year of Volunteering inititative, by bringing over 100 Cypriot youth together to play and learn about the importance of volunteerism in our society.” Marina Vasilara, PeacePlayers – Cyprus Managing Director said.
For nearly half of the kids attending, it was their very first exposure to bicommunal activity. It was great to see Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children from across Cyprus playing 3-on-3 basketball in mixed teams, listening to music, enjoying food and special activities together in order to celebrate peace in Cypriot society. This tournament was the first of a host of activities PPI-CY will organize throughout the school year with the goal to bring youth from different communities to come together to play basketball in an inclusive and fun-filled environment, implementing the idea that sport can be used as an educational tool to help break down social divides and develop young leaders in our communities.
For more pictures from the event, make sure to join the PeacePlayers International – Cyprus Facebook Group.