How PeacePlayers International Made Me a Better Person

Victor coaching a young Norwegian camper!

Victor coaching a young Norwegian camper!

Today’s blog is brought to you by Leadership Development Program participant, Victor Petrov! 

Hey guys…This week I just wanted to share with you a few things about myself, tell you about PeacePlayers, and why I love it so much! So my name is Victor “Vic” Petrov, I’m 16 years old, and I’m from Bulgaria. I have been participating in this organization for 3 years now. I’m practicing in Kiti and it is awesome! When I first started at PeacePlayers, I didn’t know much about the organization. I joined only for the love of basketball, but now I’ve learned the real meaning of PeacePlayers, which is respect, team work, friendship, and peace between two different worlds with separate cultures, religions, and ways of life.

Intense game of 1 vs 1

Intense game of 1 vs 1

I have learned a lot with the help of PeacePlayers International-Cyprus and the support of my coaches and friends. I participated in twinnings and tournaments where I met new people, made new friends, and learned so much from them. At the meetings, we would discuss different themes such as, peace, respect, friendship, and lots of other things that will help us in the future. One great experience I had was when some of us went to Norway. The first time I was there it was a all boys team made up of Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots. We took part in the Norway Basketball Tournament and won the silver medal. The second time, it was a mixture of  boys and girls from both sides of the island who went to help coach a basketball camp. It was just an amazing trip!

My favorite thing to do happens at the end of the year when we have a summer camp and some of the program members and

NBA legend Pat Garrity coaches Vic and the boys at camp

NBA legend Pat Garrity coaches Vic and the boys at camp

coaches go to the  Argos mountains. We participate in a week program and also fun stuff like movie night, disco night, peace building, and story sharing. Another great thing is that every year PeacePlayers lets us meet coaches from America that were in the NBA or WNBA and we learn so much from them. They not only teach us basketball skills, but also some important life lessons!

The reason that I participate in this program and love it so much is because it helps me learn new things while playing my favorite sport. I have made so many new friends, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, that I can call “brothers” and “sisters”. They have taught me so much about their countries and cultures. I even learned a little bit of their languages. One of the most important things I have learned is that every person is the same no matter where they are from. We are humans and we all need the same thing, which is love and respect from each other. So really, without PeacePlayers, I would be a different person. Special thanks to all the PeacePlayers International- Cyprus members and coaches!

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