Today we have a special guest blogger: PPI – CY Program Coordinator, Athanasios Souflias. This past weekend Thanasis organized an All Girl’s Tournament between PeacePlayers and local club teams. Check out his write-up on the event:
This past week PPI – CY organized their first ever Limassol basketball tournament for girls. What made this tournament unique was the fact that for the first time in Cyprus youth basketball academies including Zenon from Larnaka and Apollon from Limassol scrimmaged against two mixed PeacePlayers teams. PeacePlayers created the two teams by teaming up Turkish-Cypriot players from Lapta in the north with Greek-Cypriot players from Kiti and Dali in the south.
The tournament brought together 60 girls ages 12-16 years old. A fun, friendly, and competitive environment allowed our PeacePlayers kids to test their basketball skills against the 2 youth basketball academies. For players on the 2 club teams, this was the first time they had ever played on the court with a mixed team of both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot players. Anyone at the game could recognize the excitement and uniqueness of this experience, even the parents of the club teams were cheering and supporting their kids as well as the PeacePlayers’ teams.
Overall, it was a great experience for the kids and the coaches. At the end of the tournament PeacePlayers handed out diplomas for all the participants thanking them for their participation and encouraging them to participate in future PeacePlayers events. The tournament would not have been possible without the support of the Zenon club coach, Mihalis Seraphim, and the Apollon club coach, Alexis Lekisvili. While this was the first event of its kind, where PeacePlayers’ mixed teams played club teams, we know it will not be the last. Our goal is that this event will inspire many more mixed PeacePlayers teams playing across the island.