Talya Greenblat, PPI – ME’s International Fellow, joined PPI-ME basketball players in Cyprus for the first Erasmus Lead 4 Peace Camp of the 2017-2018 program year. In this week’s blog, Talya relates her impressions from this exciting camp.
Wow, what an amazing week! From November 28th to December 4th, PeacePlayers International – Cyprus hosted the first Erasmus Lead 4 Peace Camp of the year. The Lead 4 Peace exchange brought together PeacePlayers from the Middle East, Ireland, Cyprus and the Nesodden IF Basket Sports Club in Norway, helping them to develop as leaders and future coaches in their respective countries. Joining us in Cyprus was a great group of American coaches and staff from PPI’s US based office, as well as trainers from Up2Us Sports.
On the first day of camp, participants were divided into four teams, with each team choosing a name and cheer for itself (and we definitely heard those cheers throughout the week!). We then had icebreakers for the groups – a great way for old friends to unite and new ones to get to know one another. There were lots of laughs, and, of course, lots of cheering!
Following the icebreakers and a delicious lunch, teams attended sessions that included Arbinger trainings, Up2Us Sports sessions, and, of course, basketball. These sessions took place almost every day, but we often changed their location. On one day, for example, all of the sessions were held at the UN Buffer Zone, so we got to play on the UN’s basketball court there!
When participants weren’t on the court or in sessions, they were out and about exploring all of what Cyprus has to offer: from local cafés to tourist sites. We hiked to the Kaledonia Waterfall and the St. Hilarion Castle, explored Trodos Square, walked around the Old City in Nicosia, and even had a bowling night.
One of the best days in this wonderful week was when we took part in the 3v3 Basketball Tournament. Each team took upon itself to help in setting up the tournament, which hosted over 100 players on three basketball courts. Everyone played, and when they weren’t playing, they were dancing and helping keep score.
Overall, we had so much fun, it really was an amazing trip. There were definitely a few tears when it was time to say goodbye. Thank you, PPI-Cyprus staff, for hosting us -we can’t wait to see our friends again soon!