THE sports tourism was the topic of discussion, with the Deputy Mayor of Sports of Syros Ermoupolis, Yannis Vroutsison the occasion of his presence at the press conference of the 5th Stoiximan Aegean Ball Festivalthe famous 3 against 3 basketball tournament of Giorgos Printezis, which will take place this year at the “Princess of the Cyclades” from July 7th to 9th.
Talk to Athens Macedonian News Agency (APE-MBE), Yannis Vroutsis spoke about the goals that have already been achieved in sports tourism, but also the goals that, although they have not been implemented for many reasons so far, are in progress. One of them is the big “bet” of the municipal authority of Syros Ermoupolis… the basketball court which, as he pointed out, should be ready by the end of 2023.
“I invite ESAKE to entrust us with the organization of the All Star Game of the Basketball League in the spring of 2024,” he pointed out RES-EMP the Deputy Mayor of Sports of Syros Ermoupoli, Mr. Brutsis.
Deputy Mayor for Sports of Syros Ermoupolis G. Vroutsis… unraveled the entanglement regarding the much-desired and long-awaited indoor basketball court in Syros: “The Municipal Authority intended to carry out a study to build a basketball court. Some mistakes were made, the corona virus pandemic followed, the energy and financial crisis followed, with the problem that the price of iron rose a lot, so that the entrepreneur could not be solvent – due to the cheapest offer he had made – in relation to the obligations he had vis-à-vis the Municipality. The work has started, the stadium is currently in the “shell” state and we are going to have to renovate it. In the first hall of the Palais des Sports, the basketball hall, there were always problems with sealing and the local teams clashed with mops. That’s what we said to correct. By the end of 2023, the works will be completed and the basketball court will be ready. I invite ESAKE to entrust us with the organization of the All Star Game of the Basketball League in the spring of 2024“.
Island Greece has always faced problems in terms of the adequacy of sports facilities and infrastructure, which Mr. Vroutsis underlined, through his interview with APE-MPE, focusing on his particular homeland, Syros.
“We live in a blessed place and we are lucky. Until a few years ago, Syros had a few teams, for example Foinikas in A1 in volleyball, but he did not think of the “seed” of sports tourism. In honor of our own municipal authority – of course we won’t say that we discovered the fire – very powerful events started or continued like Giorgos Printezis’ 3v3 basketball tournament, the Stoiximan AegeanBall Festival. Another successful example of sports tourism was the triathlon, which however “burned with some clean goals”, which we are now trying to correct. Unfortunately there will be no triathlon event this year…. but there are talks, there is yeast for the triathlon to return to Syros from the new season,” first explained Mr. Vroutsis and added: “Syros is not only basketball, it’s not only volleyball, but it’s also sailing, it’s also swimming, road races. This year “Aegean Regatta 2023”, Giorgos Printezis 3v3 Basketball Tournament, Syros Run and “Syros Trail Challenge”, sporting events that attract a lot of people to our island, will come to our island. And of course, not only Syrian athletes participate, but athletes from all over Greece and abroad, as well as several well-known names in world sport“.
Afterwards, the Deputy Mayor of Sports of Syros Ermoupolis, said: “Last year, 6,000 visitors came to our island in five days for the Printezis 3on3 basketball tournament. These 6,000 visitors didn’t just buy ferry tickets. Nor did they just grab a box of Turkish delight on the way out. These 6,000 visitors slept, ate, had fun, swam for five days in Syros“.
Although the benefits of sports tourism are acquired for local communities, often the inhabitants react negatively because of the “disruption” that a sporting event can bring for a few days or… hours to their daily life. “Syrians must realize that only if we all come together for the common good will we reap long-term benefits. Some will be dissatisfied in the short term… it’s a necessary evil, but what is certain is that the publicity of the island will only bring positive benefits in the future for their businesses“.
For the first time this year, the company “ProGame”, which organizes the 3on3 Stoiximan AegeanBall Festival, will cooperate with the American College “Derree”, which will carry out research in this year’s George Printezis 3on3 tournament about how much money and where it is spent by participants and their families visiting Ermoupoli. The results of this research will be useful “tools” for the municipal authority of Syros, but also in general for the agencies involved in the promotion of sports tourism in Greece, since they will have in their hands measurable indicators, for the analysis and even better targeting, as marketing principles require.
Sports tourism requires adequate sports facilities and infrastructure. But, as Yannis Vroutsis explained, the few stadiums that exist on Syros are in poor condition: “Syros has a sports center, which contains an aging basketball court and an aging volleyball court, which is used by Phoenix on A1. But this little field is packed with people and has an incredible pulse. Unfortunately the pool is an old pool, the tennis courts are also old. There is almost nothing in athletics. There was once the stadium of the Pefkakias, at some point they found Archaia, and there were difficulties in advancing the projects of the Ministry of Culture. Many mistakes were also made by previous municipal authorities. Now this stadium is really a ruin. The South Aegean region is studying the creation of an athletics training center and considering the possibility of building it in a village outside Syros, in Vari, about 7-8 kilometers from Ermoupolis. It is a training center with a 200 meter track. This will be set up with the help of the Region, but it will not be adapted to competitions, only for specific competitions ex. only for throws. I want to send a message to the State: we are not asking them to build us new stadiums, but that they release at least some funding“.