VRILITTOS 2018 PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
The pre-event Press Conference of the 6th international handball tournament VRILITTOS 2018 took place on Thursday March 29 at the Athens Olympic Sports Centre “Spyros Louis” (OAKA). The competition which is due to commence on Friday March 30 and will last till April 3, will feature national U16 Boys’ teams representing eight nations: China, Croatia, Russia, Iceland, Romania, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina and hosts Greece.
Co-organisers of this year’s tournament are the sport institution of VRILITTOS A.M.K.H.E., and the Hellenic Handball Federation (H.H.F.) with the support of the Regional Development Fund of Attica and the OAKA. VRILITTOS 2018 is being held under the auspices of the Region of Attica, the General Secretariat of Sports (G.G.A.), the International Handball Federation (I.H.F.) and the European Handball Federation (E.H.F.).
In accordance with VRILITTOS’ social work, the tournament’s medical sponsor, the Athens Medical Group is subserving the actions of the Rehabilitation for the Disabled Centre (EL.E.P.A.P.).
Kostas Stamatiadis (Organising Committee Chairman – HHF Secretary General):
“We have finally reached the home stretch of VRILITTOS 2018, a global handball tournament which is getting bigger as the years go by. Starting from this year, VRILITTOS’ level will look similar to that of a World Cup competition. Besides the action on court, various other parallel actions will take place, starting with a Be Active night activity at the OAKA Wall of Nations on Saturday.
“In this tournament we also introduce the “Ambassador Project”, with Mrs Maria Tiktapanidou being the first in line. In a short period of just four days we will showcase a number of other initiatives as well that will promote the tournament internationally in the best possible way.
“Allow me please to express my gratitude to the organisers and sponsors and especially to Dimitris and Katerina for their tireless efforts in all these years in order to create and present a unique, for Greece’s standards, handball tournament.
“The sporting industry in Greece hasn’t been unaffected by the financial crisis that has hit the nation. Regardless of the difficulties all of us who are involved in sports are facing, we are trying our best to keep the spirit alive.
“For the last six months we have been in close communication with the relevant authorities to overcome a number of obstacles and we finally managed at the twelfth hour – following the recent unfortunate developments in Greek football and the rescheduling of the Athenian football derby between AEK and Panathinaikos – to secure a smooth operation. We even arranged free entrance, courtesy of AEK, for all contestants who wish to watch the football fixture in what seems to be a perfect promotion activity for the troubled-hit Greek football, which faces the axe from FIFA.
Aristidis Kouris (OAKA President):
“On behalf of OAKA board members I would like to welcome all participants and wish them good luck. We are happy to have them in our state-of-the art and historical sporting centre, especially our national team who has begun its four-year preparation cycle ahead of the 2021 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship which will take place in Greece.
We’ve chosen to stand by the organisers’ side from the moment they presented us with their four-year plan. In OAKA we boast about our proven track record of staging international events and we have already commenced our collaboration with the Hellenic Handball Federation following the transformation of “G. Kasimatis” hall to a handball court.”
Dionysis Karakasis (Be Active National Coordinator):
“I am glad our maiden 2018 activity on Saturday coincides with VRILITTOS 2018. Between 7pm and 8pm we will plant ten olive trees, light torches along the side of the Wall of Nations and release 300 sky lanterns for the sake of global peace and friendship.
“The Ministry of Culture will always support OAKA and HHF in similar initiatives.”
Nikos Georgiadis (Greece National U16 Team Coach):
“I wish to thank the organisers for providing us with the opportunity to test our strength against traditional powerhouses.
“We started preparing for this tournament since last October working in two separate 25-strong groups, one based in Northern Greece and the other in the Southern part of the country. We additionally had two 3-day sessions altogether.
“It was our own device to face stronger teams than us, in order to progress and build a team capable of succeeding at the 2021 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship.
“We will surely play in more friendly matches and tournaments abroad ahead of the 2021 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship, but we feel privileged to have a tournament like this held on an annual basis in Greece.”
Maria Tiktapanidou (VRILITTOS 2018 Ambassador):
“My name is Maria Tiktapanidou a former champion in various sports aka Marria Tkt for social media followers. I am a Digital Marketing expert and my mission is to boost VRILITTOS’ purpose to encompass all kids involved in this tournament with a loving feeling.”
Anastasios Marianos (EL.E.P.A.P. CEO):
“We are honoured to be here and share this moment. We don’t have the chance to be part of an event like VRILITTOS very often. EL.E.P.A.P. was founded in 1937. We are partners with Greece’s top medical institutes and hospitals and we treat more than 900 disabled children in our six branches. Our expertise is in cerebral palsy, but we cure other syndromes as well, like autism.
“We have introduced many initiatives and our aim is to reach out to the community and make new allies and friends that will support our cause. For our children, attending VRILITTOS and being a part of it seems already like a huge accomplishment.”
Katerina Psomiadou (VRILITTOS Vice-President):
“VRILITTOS 2018 is the starting point of the road that leads to the 2021 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship.
“We slightly changed the format by excluding clubs and exclusively inviting national teams. The three pillars of VRILITTOS though, remain unattached. VRILITTOS is a sporting, cultural and social event.
“Regarding the social part of the event, this year we opted to co-operate with EL.E.P.A.P. and we frankly feel honoured to be on the same side with them. We will try to help these kids feel like they are a part of the tournament by accompanying the players during their entrance in the hall and by participating in the Be Active activities. Moreover, a special box will be placed in the hall for those wishing to make their donations to EL.E.P.A.P.’s cause.
“As far as the cultural pillar is concerned, we have arranged for all contestants to visit the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum, Plaka and the Athens City Centre.
“Regarding the sporting part of the tournament, we have signed an agreement with the Hellenic Handball Federation to help our Youth National Team in their preparation road for the 2021 IHF Men’s Youth World Championship. VRILITTOS will work like a test event ahead of these great championships.
“Lastly, I would like to thank G.G.A. and especially the Secretary General Mr. Ioulios Synadinos as well as the Region of Attica and Mr. Spyros Pantzas for their contribution to beat all difficulties and make this tournament come true.”
Spyros Pantzas (Region of Attica Sports Relations Consultant):
“VRILITTOS returns to Athens after being held for fur successive years in Veroia. Since its inauguration the tournament’s cause was to teach the young athletes how to pay respect to all basic sporting principles.
“I am glad to see all these institutions and organisations supporting VRILITTOS, which now features a national-team line-up. In relation to our policy of supporting the development of the sports nationwide, the Region of Attica decided to back VRILITTOS through the Regional Development Fund of Attica.”
VRILITTOS 2018 TIMETABLE
Friday 30 March 2018
17:00 Greece – Russia
18:45 China – Israel
Saturday 31 March 2018
09:30 Romania – Croatia
11:15 Iceland – Bosnia and Herzegovina
13:00 Israel – Russia
15:00 Opening Ceremony
16:45 China – Greece
18:30 Bosnia and Herzegovina – Romania
19:00 Be Active activity (Wall of Nations)
Sunday 1 April 2018
10:00 Romania – Iceland
11:45 Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina
13:30 Greece – Israel
15:15 Russia – China
17:00 Iceland – Croatia
Monday 2 April 2018
12:10 Semi-Final 1 (Α1-Β2)
13:45 Semi-Final 2 (Β1-Α2)
15:20 Placement Match 7-8
16:55 Placement Match 5-6
18:30 Bronze Medal Match
20:15 Gold Medal Match
22:00 Closing Ceremony – Award Ceremony
All matches will be stream lived via www.vrilittos.com
VRILITTOS 2018 PRESS OFFICE
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