GREECE BECOMES FIL’S 57TH MEMBER
TORONTO, ONTARIO—The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) announces that Greece has been approved to become its 57th member nation in a May 2017 postal vote of federation members.
“I am pleased to welcome Greece as our 57th member. It is very special having the nation that is the “Birthplace of the Olympics” be a part of the FIL.”
Greece joins France, Israel, Italy, Spain, and Turkey as FIL member nations on the Mediterranean and becomes the 29th member from Europe.
The journey began in July of 2014 when the Greece Lacrosse Association (GLA) was formed by co-founders Paul and George Katsiaunis during the 2014 Men’s Lacrosse World Championship in Denver, Colorado.
“We are very pleased to become an associate member of the FIL a few years after starting this journey. This is good news for the continued development of the Greece Lacrosse Association.”
—Paul Katsiaunis, Founder, Greece Lacrosse Association
Since its inception, the growth of the GLA has been steady, initially on the international competition level and now at the grass roots level in Greece.
Paul, a gifted long stick defenseman from Tenafly High School in Tenafly, N.J., captained Greek squads comprised of mostly Greek-American players that competed in three international friendly tournaments in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
George, the Executive Director for the GLA, along with with Bob Vlahakis, GLA General Manager of Lacrosse Operations, has been working recently to develop lacrosse in elementary, middle and high schools, and at the collegiate levels throughout Greece.
“It is a joy to see our efforts rewarded, and we look forward to working together with the FIL to pursue the rapid growth of the game in Greece. This has been a dream for many years and, through the determined work of Paul and George Katsiaunis, who laid the foundation, we can now move forward even faster with our plans. We are committed to growing and developing the game equally well on both the men’s and women’s side.”
—Bob Vlahakis, GLA General Manager of Lacrosse Operations
According to Vlahakis, lacrosse was introduced to over 400 elementary, middle and high school aged children in Thessaloniki, Greece earlier this year in a four-month program called “Boots on the Ground.” The program was presented to and endorsed by Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece. Stepan Partemian, Coordinator of Athletics and Student Activities at Anatolia College and the GLA’s Regional Director for Thessaloniki carefully arranged physical education classes at all levels to be available.