Last Saturday PeacePlayers-Cyprus held a special celebration at Ledra Palace while holding the last twinning of the year. Starting in January of this year PPI-CY began partnering with the United Nations to hold bicommunal basketball games that we call ‘twinnings’ inside Ledra Palace in the UN controlled buffer zone. Twinnings are a chance for children to come play basketball together under the supervision of their coaches, build friendships and learn about peace. During twinnings Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot children are put together on the same teams so they have a chance to play with each other. The UN has supported PPI-CY’s mission by providing buses, food and an outdoor basketball court where the children from both communities can play.
“This year PeacePlayers has brought together over 200 young people from both communities to play basketball and develop friendships. Our Bicommunal Celebration on April 28 will give others the opportunity to see what we have been doing to promote peace in our island.” said Marina Vasilara, PeacePlayers – Cyprus Managing Director.
On Saturday morning 40 boys and girls from both the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities from PeacePlayers’ teams in Dali and Lysi/Akdogan came together at the basketball courts inside Ledra Palace in the Buffer Zone in Nicosia to celebrate the completion of this year’s twinnings. PPI-CY also invited its local board of directors, parents from the two communities, other local NGOs. New EU Representative to Cyprus, Mr. Giorgos Markopouliotis, also came by to show his support for PPI-CY. Several newspapers came as well to take pictures and write about the day’s activities.
The day was a great opportunity for some important people to see first hand how PPI-CY makes an impact in Cyprus. The kids had a great time too, playing long competitive matches on a beautiful April day. The same kids will have one more opportunity to play with each other this Saturday for the End of the Year Tournament, which will bring over 150 children from PPI-CY teams all across Cyprus for one giant in door 3 on 3 tournament.
To see more photos from both events, make sure to visit the PPI-CY Facebook Group!