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K. Ziegler: ”OPAP is here to support children” 880 children participated in OPAP’s big celebration of Sport in Athens

The third big celebration of sport, within the framework of OPAP Sports Academies program, was held on Sunday, March 6 at the Municipal Stadium of Peristeri with the participation of 880 children and 1.400 parents and chaperons.

In his welcome statement, President and CEO of OPAP, Kamil Ziegler mentioned characteristically: "Thank you all for being here today. It is a great success. I would like to say to you that OPAP is here to support children. Athletes today, better people tomorrow. This is our vision".

In accordance with the philosophy of its Sports Academies program, OPAP organizes ten big celebrations of sport all over Greece. All activities during the festivals promote, in the most enjoyable of ways, fair play, respect, ethics and teamwork. The young athletes participated in teamwork and football skills games, games/courses on nutritional issues and an experiential activity during which they practiced sports as Paralympic athletes. At the same time, parents and chaperons attended seminars and speeches by the members of the special scientific team of the program on psychology, nutrition and first aid. Also, the coaches of the academies attended a coaching seminar by the head of the program's coaching team and assistant coach of the National Football Team, Kostas Tsanas.

A team of sports ambassadors from Olympic and Paralympic sports with significant distinctions for their ethos, respect towards their fellow athletes and fair play attended the Festival in Athens offering valuable advice to the children. In particular, the event was attended by: Giorgos Karagounis, Antonis Nikopolidis, Thodoris Papaloukas, Vaggelis Mantzaris, member of Olympiakos' basketball team, Antonis Mantzaris, member of Ethnikos' basketball team, Giannis Athineou, member of Olympiakos' basketball team, Zisis Sarikopoulos, member of AEK's basketball team, Dimitris Tsiamis, track & field athlete (triple jump), Stella-Iro Ledaki, track & field athlete (pole vault), Vironas Kokkalanis, yachting athlete, Jelly Scarlatou, yachting athlete, Giorgos Koutsioubas, wrestling athlete, Grigoris Polychronidis, Paralympic athlete in boccia, Sezon Fernandes, Paralympic athlete in track & field, Dimitra Korokida, Paralympic athlete in track & field.

In the framework of the Sports Academies program, OPAP organizes great sports festivals in ten cities around Greece. The first two festivals have been held in Heraklion, Crete and Patras, where OPAP shared the joy of sport with 1.880 children and 2.850 parents and chaperons. The journey of OPAP Sports Academies Festivals continues in Katerini, Larissa, Argos, Ioannina, Xanthi, and Thessaloniki.

OPAP Sports Academies

OPAP Sports Academies is an innovative program that supports 125 amateur sports academies from around Greece in which more than 10,000 children of 7-10 years old participate. With its central moto being "Athletes Today –Better People Tomorrow", the program's goal is to attract even more children and promote the educational and entertaining role of sports, contributing to laying solid foundations for the future of sport in Greece.

The academies that participate in the program enjoy the benefits of an integrated educational program that includes:

  • Scientific support by specialized pediatricians, child phycologists and nutritionists
  • Age-appropriate coaching directions, according to UEFA and FIFA international standards
  • High quality sports gear
  • Insurance coverage during training and games, as well as one hour before and after
  • Participation in football tournaments with an educational and entertaining profile

Please find more information on the "Sports Academies" program and the festivals by following the link below: