In Komotini the National Wheelchair Basketball team of Cyprus

group of people in the basketball court
Sat, 04 Oct 2014

The Cyprus National Wheelchair Basketball team was in Komotini from October 1st to the 7th of the same month, to conduct its training sessions at the sports facilities of the city, hosted by the club "PERPATO".

The 12-member mission from Cyprus, consisting of ten players and two assistants – coaches, performed on a daily basis in the indoor gym of Komotini and in the facilities of the University Gym of TEFAA. In fact, this trip was als§o a first opportunity for the team to train with special sports wheelchairs for the first time, as the coach of the team Mr. George Omirou, despite the promises of the federation there, the athletes train in Cyprus with their own wheelchairs, without any help from the authorities.

George Omirou: "I declare excited by the whole of our experience so far"

Speaking to "PTTH", Mr. Omirou explained the rationale of their decision to travel to Komotini for this first phase of the team's preparation, emphasizing that they learned about the association PERPATO through common acquaintances and after communication with its members decided that everything was convenient for the realization of their trip, the expenses of which were covered by the athletes themselves.

Representing the other members of the mission, Mr. Omirou stated that he was excited by the whole of their experience, making special reference to the facilities of the Association "PERPATO", the sports facilities but also to the further "organization" of the city and its accessibility, emphasizing that despite its four times size Limassol, where they live, is in a much worse condition. "There are quite accessible places and you can move autonomously wherever you want," he stressed, stating that he was surprised by the whole experience.

"In Cyprus, despite the promises of the federation, apart from some facilities available from the municipality for our training, the team does not receive any further assistance."

The operation of this training camp in Komotini was carried out with the valuable help of TEFAA Komotini who provided the carriages and their facilities and the municipality of Komotini who provided the indoor gym for the team's workouts.

As Mr. Omirou explained, "We want to go out into the world and get to know groups, to get in touch with them and with people who know something more and can pass it on to us."

On behalf of "PERPATO", Mr. Petros Evangelinos characterized as ideal the choice of Komotini at a pan-European level for the conduct of a training camp, recalling the adequacy of both the facilities of the club, but also the easy access to the sports facilities of the municipality and the University and emphasizing that "if they can somehow function and become accessible, then our city will be able to continuously host teams, mainly from Europe, since the climate of Greece is ideal, they will come for training".

Asked about whether this is realistic and achievable, Mr. Evangelinos stressed that "since the beginning has been made now, we hope that with the right promotion, both on our part and on the part of the city institutions, we will be able to host many teams in our city for their training" emphasizing that "sports tourism does not simply translate into training but has multiple benefits for a region". As he said "Suddenly you have in a city another 22 people, who are tourists besides athletes, who every night will go out to a shop, visit the market, taste the local dishes". "The whole city needs to understand that by making it accessible-the shops, the businesses, the public services - we are winning," he said.

Practicing Paralympic sports

Apart from the training part, the aim of "PERPATO" was to teach the members of the mission better some Paralympic sports and to help in the rehabilitation part for this and all athletes were offered lessons on wheelchair handling, shooting lessons, opportunity to exercise in the water, while two documentaries were screened and a speech was given on bladder and bowel management.

Author: Natassa Vafeiadis
Source: http: / / www. paratiritis-news. gr/