Hellenic hockey hope as EHF visit Athens

Posted On 21/10/2022

** Pictured above (from left to right) are HHF General Secretary Tasos Gkousis, HHF Representative on the Hellenic Olympic Committee Costas Coulouvardis, General of Sport George Mavrotas, HHF board member Christos Sideridis, EHF President Marijke Fleuren, Minster for Sport Lefteris Avgenakis,  HHF President Margarita Karra, EHF’s Tom Pedersen-Smith

EHF President Marijke Fleuren met with the Hellenic Hockey Federation (HHF) in Athens this week to discuss the state of the game and the necessary supports required to grow hockey in Greece.

It follows a stop-start process since Covid-19 for the sport in Greece but Fleuren was heartened by the engagement and enthusiasm she encountered.

“An iconic experience,” she said following the trip. “Visiting Athens gave me such warmth to meet with many people who have the best interests of our sport at heart and the relationships and experiences to support the growth of the game in Greece. I will keep an eye on the promises of support and EuroHockey will be there to keep it moving.”

Along with EHF Head of National Associations Tom Pedersen-Smith, she met with new Hellenic Hockey Federation executives: Margarita Karra – President HHF; Costas Coulouvardis – HHF Representative on Hellenic Olympic Committee; Tasos Gkousis: General Secretary of HHF; Christos Sideridis: Board Member of HHF – Head of National Teams; and Artemis Zaglakouti – Secretary of HHF.

Visiting the 2004 Olympic site where up to 250 kids play hockey each week

Together, they took in a tour of the 2004 Olympic site where 250 school children from five different schools were playing hockey, a commitment that happens every day in Athens.

Following this, the Hellenic Olympic Committee offered advice on how best to back up their commitment to support hockey as an Olympic sport with the sport now represented once again at the committee’s monthly meetings.

Furthermore, Marijke discussed with Hellenic Olympic Committee officials Stelios Aggeloudis – Vice President – and Emmanuel Kolympadis – General Secretary – who offered advice on the support needed to build a new hockey pitch in the city.

EHF’s Marijke Fleuren and Tom Pedersen Smith meet with members of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Costas Coulouvardis, Christos Sideridis and Tasos Gkousis along with HHF president Margarita Karra

Deputy Ministry for Sport Lefteris Avgenakis confirmed there is a legal commitment to the construction of new pitch which was supported by Secretary General of Sport, George Mavrotas. They confirmed technical plans will be sent to the EHF – via the HHF – as the legal discussion closes with the developers.

Marijke then arrived back at the Athens Olympic Stadium, to meet with Olympic Athletic Centre “Spiros Louis” Director Konstantinos Chalioris who confirmed his commitment to provide indoor hockey access at his facility.

He also reaffirmed his commitment and insight into discussions of new outdoor hockey pitches in Athens.

Marijke met with former HHF Vice President Jorgos Dramitinos and congratulated and thanked him for his tireless work during the past years.

EuroHockey were delighted the current HHF executive board members joined to support this occasion, a highly productive collaboration with the key focus on developing the sport in the country.

Visiting the Athens Olympic Stadium

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