This week’s blog is written by Cyprus Fellow Sean Wright about the upcoming events taking place at PPI-CY during the holidays.
It’s the holiday season here in Cyprus, and with it brings an exciting time for us at PPI-CY. Over the next few weekends, we will be having a twinning with 50 kids from both the North (Turkish Cypriot) and South (Greek Cypriot), and also we will be having our annual Winter Tournament next weekend. What a time to be alive!
For our twinning, we will be having it in the buffer zone in-between the North and South sides right across from our offices at the Home 4 Cooperation. We have it at a place called the Ledra Palace Hotel, which is where the UN soldiers live. They are kind enough to let us use their basketball court and hold these events there. This is different from the recent twinnings because both communities are meeting at a neutral site. The few that we’ve had this year were local twinnings, where one side would travel to the other side’s community to play. The local twinnings give each side a better understanding of the other’s community which is awesome, but this neutral twinning gives us the opportunity to have more kids participate.
We’ve also given our participants in the Lead4Peace program more responsibility during our twinnings this year. They are taking on the challenges of leading the beginning parts of the sessions.
This means they lead the twinning participants in the stretches, explaining the activities in the mother tongue so everyone is on the same page, and breaking the teams up evenly. They are doing an excellent job with this, especially breaking the teams up evenly. This may not seem like a big task, but when your friends are looking at you wanting to be on your team and you have to say no, it can be difficult. The best part of them taking on more responsibilities is that they WANT to do it. We don’t even have to ask them because they come up to us ask us to do these things. We are very proud of what these young men and women are doing.
Next weekend is our Winter 3 on 3 Tournament, which is one of our biggest events of the year. Every team on the island, north and south, come together to have one epic day of basketball. This is a special event because it is one of the only times that every team on the island is in the same place at the same time. On top of that, we open the tournament up to anyone who wants to join. This is a great recruiting tool for new kids who want to play basketball but don’t have the outlet to do so. All in all, it’s going to be an exciting two weeks here in CYPRUS!!!