Cheers to the New Year from PPI-CY

This week’s blog was written by International Fellow, Jessica Walton. Here’s a quick glimpse at some of our highlights for the 2015 season and a quick run down of whats in store for the New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us here at PeacePlayers-Cyprus! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and brought in the New Year with family and friends. 2015 was a wonderful year for our PPI-CY family. Participants from each of our twelve teams spread throughout the island took part in Twinnings (mixed basketball trainings with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teams), two tournaments and leadership development trainings, and our annual summer camp.

International Fellow, Jessica coaching at Camp 2015.

International Fellow, Jessica coaching at Camp 2015.

Not to be forgotten are the countless hours in the gym where our players spent time developing their individual skills, thanks to our wonderful coaching staff! In addition to basketball skills, at each practice, PeacePlayers get to implement their communication, teamwork and leadership skills within their own local communities.

We capped off the year with a special event hosting United States Secretary of State, John Kerry at our very own court in the United Nations Buffer Zone at Ledra Palace Hotel. Our leaders were given the chance to put their skills on display for the Secretary, speak to him personally, present him with an official PeacePlayers t-shirt, and pose for photos. We are so grateful to our wonderful friends at the US Embassy for presenting us with this opportunity.

Kerry at the Ledra Palaca Hotel Court signing basketballs and speaking with leaders.

Kerry at the Ledra Palaca Hotel Court signing basketballs and speaking with leaders.

2016 looks like it will be an even more rewarding and exciting year than the last, as we continue with our regular programming and add some fresh, new global events into the mix. PeacePlayers will be partaking in a new exchange program which will begin this year, allowing LDP participants to visit programs in Cyprus, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and one of partnering Erasmus programs based in Norway. During these exchange trips our participants will learn new skills and use tools which will make them more confident, stronger leaders. Planning for the program begins this February, as we host representatives from each site right here in Cyprus!

Coach Nicos with LDP leader Veley Petkov

Coach Nicos with LDP leader Veley Petkov

We would like to thank each and every one of our coaches, players and local staff members for helping to make 2015 a great year. We are so excited to continue to collaborate with you all throughout 2016. Thanks to each individual and all of the groups/organizations who contributed their time and/or money to making our program a success. Happy New Year to all!

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