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 How Boost4Best supports young athletes of Cyprus

The Olympic achievements of Cypriot athletes is an important issue at the forefront of the country’s national development strategy. The country has taken part in 22 Olympic Games since 1980, and only once – in 2012 – returned with a “silver”. Yachtsman Pavlos Kontidis finished second in the Laser class and is currently the only Cypriot Olympic medalist.

The state of high performance sports is an indicator of the country’s cultural and economic development. According to John Andrews, editor-in-chief of The Economist, supporting the new generation of athletes is one of the most important tasks of the state. So there is an urgent need for all sports to have a strategic development plan and financial support. This is the only way to set goals for the future and achieve new sporting heights.

For this reason, it is the state who is primarily interested in the progress of Cypriot athletes as potential Olympic medalists. The Cyprus Sport Organisation is also improving the training programs for future champions year by year. In 2020, Pavlos Kontidis took up the initiative by launching the #TowardsTokyo campaign on social media to support and motivate Cypriot athletes in their quest for victory. 

Realizing the importance and relevance of this direction for the country, the international charitable foundation Parimatch Foundation contributed to the preparation of the future champions. Since September 2020, it has been implementing its “Boost4Best” program aimed to support young athletes in Cyprus. 

Under the program, the foundation has allocated 39,000 euro for annual scholarships to 13 future champions. It is important to mention that the Cyprus Olympians Association was the partner of this project, recommending promising young athletes who need financial support. This gives the Parimatch Foundation an opportunity to effectively invest in the young generation of Cypriot athletes and their sports achievements in the international arena. 

Costas Papacostas, President of Cyprus Olympians Association

When discussing high-performance sports, it should be understood that it’s not merely sports, but also the country’s cultural and economic development that we are talking about. A victory won by one athlete or a team is equally important for all citizens of the country, as it is something they all can be proud of as a nation. Thus, high-performance athletes bear a huge responsibility for achieving their best results. At the same time, one should remember that a good deal of this responsibility lies on sustainable businesses and charitable organizations, as well as the society and the State at large. It is impossible to realize the nation’s ambitions without due support from the community. For this reason, we welcome the initiatives of the Parimatch Foundation in Cyprus. Its program Boost4Best pursues a noble mission, which will positively influence not only the Olympic achievements of Cyprus but also the overall social well-being. By investing in our young athletes, we invest in our future. 

Thanks to the implementation of “Boost4Best”, such sports as athletics, judo, swimming, cycling, karate, tennis, shooting, and sailing received impetus and development.

Katerina Biloruska, President of the Parimatch Foundation International Charitable Foundation 

“All of the Parimatch Foundation programs are part of the global Parimatch Tech’s CSR strategy, under which we place a lot of value on adapting our initiatives to the local community needs. So, “Boost4Best” was created specifically for Cyprus to develop high-performance sports in the country, and encourage the recognition of champions from Cyprus in the international sports community. We support future champions on their way to victories and strive to give them a chance to glorify their homeland. High cost of sports nutrition, equipment, a proper level of training and sports inventory is an obvious factor that affects the development of sports in the country. Therefore, the Parimatch Foundation has made it one of its priorities to support young Cypriot athletes on their way to their dream of Olympic awards.”  

Petros Christodoulides, Parimatch Foundation Fellow, Judo 50kg Athlete

Daily training for participation in the Olympic Games is a priority in my life today. I am sincerely grateful to the Parimatch Foundation for helping me fulfill my dream of participating in the Olympic Games.

For me, this is not just financial support but also moral support and motivation. I am really grateful to the Parimatch Foundation for covering part of the considerable expenses for my training, which were previously covered only by my family. This is a great help for us and gives me optimism and peace of mind that I can continue my training to participate in international competitions. 

Emilia Kolokotroni, Parimatch Foundation Fellow, Track & Field Hammer Athlete

First, I am grateful to the Parimatch Foundation for the honor and trust they have shown me by offering me the grant. We, the younger generation, are accustomed to the fact that family and relatives can help but when support comes from third parties, it’s infinitely gratifying. Some organizations might be hesitant to help young athletes who are still at the very beginning of their career, but the Parimatch Foundation believed in us, so I am very grateful to the whole team.

In particular, I would like to highlight the aspect of psychological support provided through the “Boost4Best” program. It was an extremely difficult year – the pandemic cancelled all of our plans and limited our opportunities to train properly. Of course, I did not stop working on myself and exercised at home whenever I could, which allowed me to maintain my physical condition. The psychological support, motivation, mentoring, and faith that the Parimatch Foundation team showed to me, brought me back to the field in a very positive mood.

It goes without saying that the financial help from the Parimatch Foundation was invaluable too. Part of the financial support was used to pay for my physiotherapy sessions  and buy the nutritional supplements necessary for my level of training. This allowed me and my family to feel supported, confident, and calm as I do not worry that a big part of the family budget is spent on my training needs. 

Christodoulos Christodoulides,  athlete Petros Christodoulides father’

The “Boost4Best” program my son participates in, plays a big role in achieving the sports goals our entire family is striving for. My son’s participation in the Olympic Games is an important part of them.

The help we receive from the Parimatch Foundation is extremely valuable to us, especially in the difficult times of the pandemic. Thanks to the Foundation’s support, we do not have to choose between covering our basic needs and paying for our son’s sports training. After all, the requirements for professional athletes are huge and it is extremely difficult to meet those expenses without any external help. 

The Parimatch Foundation provides training equipment that helps my son participating in International sports events and in addition, the programme takes care of his emotional well-being.  My son is motivated by the fact that he has a great chance to become a future Olympian. At least we are doing everything for this, and the Foundation helps us a lot. 

The Parimatch Foundation’s “Boost4Best” program supports aspiring athletes, who often face financial hardships, gender inequality, psychological pressure, and difficulty accessing modern sports equipment. Few people pay attention to young athletes who are yet to achieve success. However, the Parimatch Foundation strongly believes that investing in welfare opportunities for the younger generation now is the key to a brighter future for the whole society. 

In 2021, the Foundation will continue to implement its “Boost4Best” program, and very soon we will find out the names of the new fellows, who will surely achieve success in the international arena of Olympic sports. 

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