The names of the athletes who will become the beneficiaries of the international charity Parimatch Foundation's «Boost4Best» scholarship program have been announced again this year. The 18 young athletes selected for the 2022-2023 period were awarded an honorary diploma and commemorative gifts at an event at the Radisson Blu Hotel (QBlu Plaza) in Larnaca on Monday 24 October 2022.
The total amount of €54. 000, which will be allocated in the current sports year, will be distributed to 18 young professional athletes from all over Cyprus, representing different sports: swimming (2), tennis (2), judo (3), boxing (1), sailing (2), canoeing (1), karate (2), hammer throw (2), table tennis (1), cycling (1) and shooting (1).
This is the third year that the Parimatch Foundation, in collaboration with the Cyprus Olympians Association, has supported young men and women who show high sports results, enabling them to dedicate themselves to their training with more resources and less stress.
Last year, the Foundation provided €48,000 to 16 athletes.
The award ceremony was attended by representatives of the Parimatch Foundation, the C.E.S.O.A., the C.O.A., the CIO, MPs from the Larnaca Region, the Peace Players Organization, Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and Special Olympics Cyprus, as well as coaches and athletes.
—We salute this commendable and strong effort by all partners for the future of young athletes, — Mr. Kostakis Koukoulis said.
Katerina Bilorouska, President of the Parimatch Foundation added: I am happy to be here again and to be able to continue supporting the young athletes of Cyprus through this program. The past years have proven that this effort is growing, alongside the young talents who are the future Olympians of Cyprus.
Finally, Mr. Kostas Papakostas, President of KESOA emphasized that the results of the Boost for Best program proved the importance of all the efforts.
The ceremony included two debates on «Challenges of young athletes» and «Sport for a good cause», the announcement of the athletes, and the awarding of the scholarships.
The first debate was on the challenges faced by young athletes and was addressed by Phoebus Zachariadis — Advisor to the President of the Republic on Sports, who spoke about how some changes in the legislative system can contribute to the development of athletes, Stavros Michaelides — Vice President of the K.E.S.O.A.. who spoke about the concept of Dual career, Christos Aravis — Federal boxing coach, who spoke about the challenges of athletes from a coach’s point of view, Kalli Hatziyosif of the CTO who spoke about the mental health of young athletes and the supporting programs of the CTO, and former athlete (Olympian) Leontia Kallenou, who shared with the young athletes her own experiences and told how to cope with challenges.
The second discussion, which focused on the positive things that sport can bring to a community was attended by Katerina Biloruska – President of Parimatch Foundation who spoke about the Parimatch Foundation’s programs in Cyprus which aim to benefit the community, Stephanie Nikola — Peace Players Cyprus who spoke about the work of Peace Players Cyprus, Alexis Lyras — Georgetown University representative who spoke about the values of Olympism and the promotion of positive social change and conflict resolution programs through these values, and Elias Sarris on behalf of Special Olympics Cyprus, who spoke about the Special Olympics Cyprus work and the many positive benefits that sport offers to the people who participate.
The athletes of«Boost4Best» 2022-2023:
1. Anna Hadjiloizou, swimming
2. Nicolas Kostas, swimming
3. Andreas Timinis, tennis
4. Nina Andronikou, tennis
5. Yannis Antoniou, judo
6. Marina Azinou, judo
7. Petros Christodoulides, judo
8. Laila Abdullatif, boxing
9. Emilio Boeros, sailing
10. Vassilis Charalambous, sailing
11. Xenophon Angelis, canoe
12. Alexandros Tsangaras, karate
13. Loizos Vassiliou, karate
14. Emilia Kolokotroni, hammer throw
15. Joseph Kesidis, hammer throw
16. Siarbel Ilia, table tennis
17. Alexandra Safiri, cycling
18. Konstantina Markidou, shooting
The «Boost4Best» program created by the Parimatch Foundation specifically for Cyprus is aimed at developing the high-performance sport in the country and encouraging the recognition of Cyprus champions in the international sports community. It actively supports and encourages young athletes to meet the challenges, inequalities, psychological pressure, financial, or any other difficulties they encounter on their way to the top while communicating their needs to the Cyprus society.