On Saturday, September 24, PPI-CY held the Peace Day Basketball Tournament in celebration of International Peace Day. The tournament brought 100 Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot youth together to play basketball on mixed teams and enjoy music and food together. The tournament hosted children from across Cyprus who played 3-on-3 street basketball in mixed teams, implementing the idea that sport can be used as a tool to help break down social divides and begin to change the negative perceptions children may have about the other community.
Leading up to the tournament, PPI-CY also joined forces with Peace One Day, a UK based nonprofit organization working to promote peace around the globe. Now they are working towards Global Truce 2012, the biggest call for peace the world has ever seen. PPI-CY is proud to be an official partner for Global Truce 2012, helping to connect PPI-CY to an international peace movement. By bringing Cypriot youth together, we are participating in a global event to reduce violence and promote peace.
“It’s exciting because we learn how [Turkish-Cypriots] live. We are together and we play for fun, and we forget that we don’t stay together… We can live together,” – Alexis, Greek-Cypriot participant (15 years old)
The tournament was also special because for the very first time since the conflict in 1974, the UN Buffer Zone was chosen as the site for a youth sporting event for peace. Playing underneath the symbolic Ledra Palace, for the first time children could come together on neutral ground, put political and social prejudices behind them, and focus on more hopeful future. Many local newspapers, television and radio stations covered this historical event. Make sure to check out our Facebook group to see children’s reactions to the tournament and all the photos from the event.
Listen to this 4 minute radio spot by the British Forces Broadcasting Service recorded during the tournament!