Dimitris Kotsionis, CEO of «VRILITTOS 2018» gave a revealing interview.
There are few days left (March 30th- April 3rd) until the beginning of the 6th international handball tournament «VRILITTOS 2018», which will be held in OACA with the participation of eight national teams U16 (Greece, China, Croatia, Russia, Iceland, Romania, Israel and Bosnia Herzegovina).
The CEO of the Organizing Committee, inspirer and founder of «VRILITTOS» Dimitris Kotsionis gave a revealing interview to the press office of the organization, about the decision to return to Athens, the account of the four tournaments in Veria, for this year special tournament in OACA and the support of «VRILITTOS » to National Teams.
Why did you decide to have VRILITTOS back to Athens ?
«There are two important reasons. The first is the organization of World Adolescence Championship 2021 by the Greek Federation in Athens. It’s a first class opportunity to help – the next four years- the best preparation and organization of our National team for this big event.
The second reason is personal, as health issues of a member of our family, made it very difficult to support such an event outside Attiki.
Furthermore VRILITTOS is an already well known tournament abroad and has broaden Greek handballs horizon. There are many benefits in Athens,as it is more appealing for the teams because of the air flights, the options in accommodation and the different dynamic in communication».
What is different this year in VRILITTOS?
«The first three years of VRILITTOS participated clubs from Greece and abroad and we added National teams in two last. The main thing this year is that the participation are exclusively of National teams, because our goal is to support strongly our National team U16, in order to level up the teams participating, in quality, competition and prestige. Also for the first time participates a team outside of Europe. This is China, the largest country in the world. It’s also clear that from this year on, VRILITTOS is coorganized along with Hellenic Handball Federation in order to provide many benefits for Greek handball. VRILITTOS with its staff and especially with the support and excellent help of Mr. Branislan Stajinits and Federation with their staff join their forces in order to create a tournament with organizing standards similar of those of big events abroad».
What difference does the participation of China makes for VRILITTOS?
«Previous years we have tried to add something different to the tournament. We had discussed the chance to invite countries which offer different things, with people from the Federation, President Kostas Gantis and the General Secretarial Kostas Stamatiadis. We wanted to add countries such as China, USA, Qatar, which have dynamic not only in handball but in multiple levels as well, such as, know-how, facilities, their philosophy and approach of sports. Through my daughters occupation with water polo, I was familiar with the cooperation between Greece and China in exchanging hospitality and make common preparation. Our opinion is that this can apply to handball to. The cooperation with such country can provide many benefits for Greek handball. But I would like to make some comments for the others participation as well. Iceland is a traditional handball force. In previous years we had a participation of a team from Denmark and we are about to have another team from Scandinavia next year. Russia is among the top countries of the world in all kind of sports. We are also very happy and honored that Israel is with us this year. Apart from their great work in development we share friendship and trust with the people in their National team and Federation. National Croatia is world power and our cooperation is very strong. Finally we share mutual respect and a sincere relationship with Romania and Bosnia».
Is the circle of VRILITTOS in Veria closed? What is the account of the past four years?
«For our family Veria is synonymous to VRILITTOS ! When we decided after the first organization in Vrilissia to continue our journey in Veria we didn’t expect such a big response. The mayor back then Mrs. Charoula Ousoutzoglou-Georgiadi, Filippos Veria and all staff of the town opened their arms to us. That continued to the next years also by the support of the next mayor Mr. Konstantinos Vorgiazidis and the president of KAPA Mr. Theophilos Koronas. I would like to say a special and huge thank you to the volunteers of VRILITTOS. They are the soul of the tournament. We believe that we offered many things to Veria, the local community, the town and to Filippos. In those four years came to Veria 74 teams (National teams and clubs), more than 2.000 athletes, coaches and escorts. We think that with VRILITTOS we aid local community, restaurants, hotels and stores. We contributed so as to create a base (know-how, structure, vision, style, relationships) in Veria for organization of multiple worldwide actions. We are really sad that VRILITTOS won’t be held in Veria. We tried as a family to explore the possibility of having VRILITTOS outside Athens, but as I’ve already said there were serious reasons not to. Even though some behavior in particular made us sad we keep all those wonderful memories and move on. The sure thing is that we miss Veria. For four years we tried to be true, proper and consisted toward everyone. We hope and believe that it was estimated. We will reexamine all possibilities after the World Championship 2021 in Athens. Veria was, is and always will be in our heart».
Is there any chance of a tournament with clubs parallel to «VRILITTOS» until 2021?
«At the end of the 5th VRILITTOS in Veria I had said that it is time to add women handball to the tournament. We are people of our words and since that was a public statement we will try hard to make it happen. We’ve changed our plans due to World Championship 2021 but we keep in mind the organization of a parallel tournament with clubs. This won’t have any effect on the annual tournament with National teams in Athens till 2021. I would not want to say something further as there isn’t anything to be announced at the moment».
Who are the sponsors of «VRILITTOS 2018»?
«We are in the beginning of a four year process. We certainly have all the support of the Hellenic Handball Federation with which we are in full symphony. We have also the support of General Secretariat of Sports and their g.s. Mr. Ioulios Synadinos, the Region of Attica – which provides us with financial support as well- , Spiros Pantzas (Regional Consultant of Attica, responsible for sports affairs ) and the staff of OACA and their President Mr. Aris Kouris. It is very important for us to have the support of the largest athletic center of the country. We are also happy that once again our medical supporter is Athens Medical Group with the family of Mr.Apostolopoulos».
In which way «VRILITTOS» supports Greek handball?
«In 2015 we started sponsoring Hellenic Handball Federation for National teams. We supported National team(U16) to attend four preparation camps and take part in two VRILITTOS, facing great handball forces. We also support the National team (U14) in six preparation camps, in one camp of several teams and gave the team the opportunity to attend an international tournament in Brcko Bosnia, which was the first experience abroad for the team of that age.
We also contributed to this year National teams camp, which was held in Veria for three days (January 27-30). This team by the assistant of VRILITTOS will prepare in Athens on March 27-29 and take part in the 6th tournament. After the end of this year’s tournament we are willing to assist the actions for the preparation of our team for 2021.
I want also to encourage all people who are involved in handball to support National teams. I’m very pleased to see that many organizers act that way and I believe that we all have to contribute toward that direction. From 2013 to 2017 VRILITTOS gave the opportunity to 19 different clubs of a participation in a highly leveled and with international standard tournament, having as opponents great schools of handball. They had the chance to take that experience in Greece via VRILITTOS. All people of handball are entitled to feel proud of VRILITTOS tournament. It’s an advertisement for Greek handball and Greece abroad not only for the quality in organization and games but for their social, cultural and educational actions that make the tournament special. VRILITTOS is a great ambassador of Greek handball abroad and that’s a statement of the clubs and National teams that have participated. At this point I would like to express our joy and honor for this year’s cooperation with ELEPAP, in our social section».
We expect everyone to watch the tournament and all those strong games and support the effort of our National team towards big schools of the world handball.
VRILITTOS 2018 PRESS OFFICE
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