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21 April, 2024
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New York youth team gifts jersey to Cyprus President

New York and Cyprus youth connect through football and culture


The Cypriot government's commitment to bolstering the youth football teams of the diaspora, particularly in facilitating their visits to Cyprus, was reaffirmed today by President Nikos Christodoulides. Welcoming members of the New York-based team "Pan-Cyprian Freedom" at the distinguished Presidential Palace, the President highlighted the significance of fostering such connections.

In his warm address, President Christodoulides shared his personal affinity for these endeavors, drawing from his own experiences within the diaspora community and his familial ties to New York. He expressed how his interactions with the diaspora in the USA have deepened his love for Cyprus, underscoring the importance of such cultural exchanges.

Acknowledging the invaluable contributions of the "Freedom-Pan-Cyprian" organization, President Christodoulides commended its members for their selfless dedication to the cause.

Following a heartfelt exchange, President Christodoulides graciously received a jersey bearing the number 9 as a token of remembrance from the team. He then led the children and their mentors on a captivating tour of the Presidential Palace, offering poignant insights into Cyprus' rich history, including the somber events of 1974.

A group of 18 spirited teenagers from the youth football team "Pan-Cyprian Freedom" in New York has been exploring Cyprus since February 15, eagerly immersing themselves in the island's vibrant culture and history. Their itinerary includes visits to various landmarks and engaging in friendly matches with local youth teams, fostering camaraderie and mutual understanding.

Accompanied by dedicated coaches and the esteemed President of the team, Niko Giazzas, the group enjoyed a warm reception from President Christodoulides. Mr. Giazzas eloquently emphasized the transformative power of such visits, tracing the roots of the youth football teams back to the visionary efforts of Mike Leandros in the early 1980s.

Highlighting the inclusive nature of the teams, Mr. Giazzas shared that they comprise approximately 300 children, ranging from ages 5 to 17, representing a diverse mix of talents and backgrounds. He proudly mentioned their participation in the Junior Soccer Leagues in the USA and the scholarships provided for academic pursuits and Greek language studies.

Reflecting on their enduring friendship since 1993, Mr. Giazzas lauded President Christodoulides' steadfast leadership and commitment to strengthening bonds within the diaspora community and beyond.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  sport  |  diplomacy  |  politics  |  government  |  football

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