HE sports tourism was the subject of discussion, with the Deputy Mayor for Sports of Syros Ermoupolis, Yannis Vroutsison the occasion of his presence at the press conference of the 5th Stoiximan Aegean Ball Festivalthe famous Giorgos Printezis 3×3 basketball tournament, which this year will host the “Princess of the Cyclades” from July 7 to 9.
speaking to Athenian Macedonian News Agency (APE-MBE), Yannis Vroutsis mentioned the goals that have already been achieved in terms of sports tourism, but also the goals that, although not implemented for many reasons so far, are in progress. One of them is the big “bet” of the Syros Ermoupolis Municipal Authority… the basketball court which, according to him, is expected to 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 RES-EMP the Deputy Mayor for Sports of Syros Ermoupoli, Mr. Brutsis.
The deputy mayor for sports of Syros Ermoupolis G. Vroutsis… unraveled the tangle 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 continued, the energy and financial crisis continued, with the issue that the price of iron increased a lot, so the contractor could not be solvent -because of the cheapest offer he had made- in relation to the obligations that it had before the Municipality. The works have started, the stadium is currently in a “shell” stage and will have to be renovated. In the first room of the Sports Center, the basketball one, there were always problems of narrowness and the local teams competed in rags. This is what we said to fix. By the end of 2023, the works will be finished 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».
The island of Greece has always faced problems in terms of the adequacy of sports facilities and infrastructure, something that Mr. Vroutsis highlighted, through his interview with APE-MPE, focusing on his particular homeland of Syros.
“We live in a blessed place and we are lucky for it. Until a few years ago, Syros had some teams, for example Foinikas in A1 in volleyball, but had not thought about the “seed” of sports tourism. In honor of our own municipal authority – of course we won’t say that we discovered the fire – some very powerful events started or continued like Giorgos Printezis’ 3×3 basketball tournament, the Stoiximan AegeanBall Festival. Another successful example of sports tourism was the triathlon, which however “burned with some own goals”, which we are now trying to correct. Unfortunately, there will be no triathlon event this year… but there are discussions, there is yeast for the triathlon to return to Syros from the new season,” Mr. Vroutsis initially explained, adding: “Syros is not just basketball, it’s not just volleyball, it’s also sailing, it’s also swimming, road events. This year the “Aegean Regatta 2023”, the Giorgos Printezis 3vs3 basketball tournament, the Syros Run and the “Syros Trail Challenge” will come to our island, sporting events that attract many people to our island. And, of course, not only Syrian athletes participate, but athletes from all over Greece and abroad, as well as various well-known names from world sport.».
Subsequently, the Deputy Mayor for Sports of Syros Ermoupolis said: “Last year 6 thousand visitors came to our island in a period of five days for the Printezis 3×3 basketball tournament. These 6,000 visitors didn’t just buy ferry tickets. They also didn’t take a box of Turkish delight with them on the way out. These 6,000 visitors slept, ate, had fun, and swam for five days on Syros».
Although the benefits of sports tourism are a given for local communities, residents often react negatively due to 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 are all united for the common good will we reap long-term benefits. Some will be disgruntled in the short term… it’s a necessary evil, but the truth is that advertising the island will only bring positive benefits for their businesses in the future.».
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 conduct an investigation in this year’s George Printezis 3on3 tournament about how much money and where it is spent by the 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 measurable indicators in their hands, for analysis and even better. targeting, as required by marketing principles.
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 old basketball court and an old volleyball court, which is used by Phoenix in 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 old too. There is almost nothing in athletics. There was the Pefkakias stadium, at some point they found Archaia, and there was difficulty getting projects out 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 is considering the possibility of building it in a village on the outskirts of Syros, in Vari, about 7-8 kilometers from Ermoupolis. This is a training facility with a 200-yard track. This will be implemented with the help of the Region, but it will not be suitable for competitions, only for specific competitions, e.g. for releases only. I want to send a message to the State: We are not asking them to build us new stadiums, but to unlock at least some financing».