LACROSSE GRAND OPENING IN TRIKALA
THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE TRIKALA NEWS ON JUNE 27, 2017. THE TRANSLATION IS AS FOLLOWS:
The introduction and the first steps toward the “cultivation” of this exciting new sport took in Trikala a few days ago and this is surely just the beginning.
Generally speaking, Trikala people will not say no to anything because they know the way to be innovative. This is why Trikalians are known to be fearless and quite impressive as regards their representation in sports.
Actually, people from the region of Trikala have proven out to be sensitive “recipients” of different new tries and no matter how challenging these are, their attitude is usually welcoming and positive. This is one of the reasons that helped this beautiful sport called lacrosse to have a most successful first show and certainly be embraced by the participants.
The second and most contributing factor to this new beginning for Trikala and our whole country is indeed the people responsible for the initiation to this fascinating sport. Well, these people are real and do come originally from Trikala region. They were also born and grew up in the U.S.A. which makes the combination ideal because their deep love for the sport on the one hand as well as their unbeatable knowhow on the other leave nothing else but prosperous promises for the future.
Whoever tried playing the sport during the 4-day-clinics got really excited and are looking forward to showing it to other friends too. Some girls especially who belong to the girls’ soccer team of Trikala and qualified for the first division this year are ready to admit that they have become infatuated by lacrosse and cannot wait for the second phase of the clinics this coming fall. Of course they do know this is just the beginning but still by the looks of it this new sport has already made an incredible fresh start and is about to take off!!
Our newspaper only attended part of a clinic in Krinitsa Stadium but it was not hard to recognize the warmhearted will and best intentions on behalf of the women who are responsible of making this dream come true. The former IWLCA All American & Univ of Richmond Head Coach, Stephy Samaras Mantziaras, showed enormous amounts of patience so as to instill the secrets of lacrosse to those girls who seemed to love the sport right from the start. Stephy was an open book full of knowledge, impeccable technique and did her best in order for the girls to fully grasp the hidden secrets of the sport. Above all, she focused on the girls’ psychology which she said is the most significant part of the game.
As for Cathy Samaras, Past President of the US Women’s Lacrosse Association (now the Women’s Division of US Lacrosse) and VP of Marketing & Promotions of the International Federation of Women’s Lacrosse Associations (now the FIL) who has traveled the world promoting lacrosse, she definitely looked really pleased by this sports ‘hive’ which has just begun to take shape. Both of them are eager to honour their Trikalian roots and this why they wanted to make the initiation here and not in Athens. According to their relative Maria Samara, “Trikala city knows how to be innovative in sports and this time our attempt will be to coordinate a comprehensive approach to introduce the game of lacrosse to the young girls in the region, creating a solid base that will produce a pool of players from which to select a team to compete in the FIL U19 Games in 2019. From an education standpoint, we feel this cost-saving model of intensive teaching in a grassroots clinic/camp environment will create excitement for lacrosse very quickly. By training the local teacher/coaches along with the athletes and providing a plan of activities to accompany their developing skills, the interest will increase during the “off season” before we return for the second bigger camp in early fall”.
During the previous week the whole Samaras group visited the Mayor, Mr Dimitris Papastergiou, so as to thank him for the Town Hall’s support and contribution and to inform him about the second bigger camp taking place in early fall. The Mayor, a true sportslover himself who has made Trikala famous around Europe for different innovations i.e. “clever buses without drivers” was very happy to see the ladies in his office and promised a better and most successful cooperative plan in the near future. The deputy Mayor, Mrs Effie Leventi, who was the direct link between the city hall, the regional director Maria Samara and the U.S. did not forget to mention the role that the beautiful Krinitsa Stadium played in the lacrosse effort.
Last but not least, we should thank the TEFAA (University Department of Physical Education in Trikala) and Mr Vassilis Gerodimos personally for believing in this new sport and incorporating it in their summer school for two days during the clinics.
Well, the Samaras’ ideas are plenty and will be fully unfolded at the right moment. Our paper wishes them the best of luck with their dream!