This week, as Nate Robinson of the Chicago Bulls was willing his team to a triple overtime victory, and Stephen Curry rained threes out of Oakland, a group of young PeacePlayers were competing for their own championship. A team of 12 young basketball players, six Greek-Cypriot and six Turkish-Cypriots from PeacePlayers – Cyprus traveled to Norway this week to participate in a Norwegian youth basketball tournament in Bergen – the Hansa Cup. Here is an update from PPI – Cyprus Managing Director, Marina Vasilara:
Our team’s trip to Norway is not over yet, but earlier today, after a long (11 hour) bus ride from Oslo to Bergen, our team with 1000% effort made it to the finals and got second place! An unbelievable achievement from a complete ‘outsider’ team. Second place is not bad, but our kids are in every respect the big winners – from what they gained this past 5 days from their host families in Nesodden, playing with the Harlem Globetrotters, putting on a presentation about PeacePlayers and Cyprus at a local high school , and visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet with the Minister himself. We are extremely proud of them!
The trip is part of PeacePlayers’ continuous effort to bring together youths from different backgrounds to learn from one another and contribute to a better future in Cyprus. Since its creation in 2006, PPI’s programs in Cyprus have worked with over 3,000 youth from the island’s ethnically divided communities. In a recent article in the CyprusMail, the Norwegian Ambassador, Sjur Larsen said: “PeacePlayers and the Norwegian embassy share the same vision, to unite Cypriot youth across the island. We believe that by bringing these youths together they will learn from each other and be better able to contribute to Cyprus in the future.”