Greece is well-known as a soccer-crazy country, but now people are being offered the chance to try their hand at the oval ball, as a new rugby club in Athens laces up its boots and takes to the field.
April 28 will see the grand opening of the newly formed Athenians Sports Club at Aiolos Glyfadas FC in Vari.
Two experienced coaches, Lina Norman and Vasilis Katsakos, want to see people giving the sport and try and have other exciting activities planned for the launch.
“We decided to start ‘Athenians’ because we want to give more children the chance to play rugby,” said Norman, who played in the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup for Sweden.
“Rugby has some great values connected to the sport. Respect for others, respect for rules and laws, solidarity with your teammates, discipline and passion. I believe that children who learn to understand and treasure these values early on will benefit in all their social, family and work relationships.”
Rugby has given Vasilis (Billy) Katsakos the opportunity to play at the elite level in Spain and France as well as Greece and he is now ready to help the next generation reach their goals.
“Academies for all kinds of sports have been my biggest dream since I was a student at
university. Now I feel ready to start something and share my knowledge with the best people there are, kids!
“Rugby is a lot like life. Sometimes you have to compete with someone taller, faster or heavier than you. The magic thing is that you have to win this ‘fight’ for you and your teammates with the attributes and skills that you have and always respecting the rules of the game and the laws of life.”
Currently there are 11 active rugby union clubs in Greece with approximately 300 players. There are seven women’s teams.
The Athenians’ grand opening will include tag rugby games for the kids, rugby activities for all ages, barbecue and drinks for sale and a DJ.
The Athenians Sports Club grand opening will take place on Saturday 28 April at 5 p.m. at Aiolos Glyfadas FC Papandreou Andrea 2, Vari, Greece.