Below you will find information about the sports offered by the Elite Athlete Programme.

In early December 1891, Canadian Dr. James Nasism, a physical education instructor at the YMCA Training School (Springfield College) in Massachusetts, USA, was trying to keep the class occupied on a rainy day. He was seeking a dynamic indoor game to keep his students warm and fit during the long winter of New England. After dismissing other ideas as being too rough or unsuitable for indoor gyms, he formulated the basic rules and nailed a basket of peaches at a height of 3.55 meters. Unlike modern basketball nets, this basket of peaches retained its bottom, and the balls had to be recovered manually after each “basket” or point scored. This proved to be ineffective. So the bottom of the basket was removed, which allowed the ball to be pushed with a large rod at a time. In 1906, the peach baskets were finally replaced by metal hoops with backboards

Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball. The first balls made specifically for basketball were brown, and it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible for players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball that is now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the “bounce pass” to teammates. The pass was the only means of moving the ball. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was eventually introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling only became a major part of the game around the 1950s, as manufacturing improved the ball shape.

Nikos Boudouris, the prominent international basketball player who has won titles in Greece and Europe, is head of the basketball club.

Football is the most popular contemporary sport in the world. At the beginning of the 21st century, more than 250 million players were involved in more than 200 countries. It is historically documented that in many countries there have been games where players kick a ball, such as the episkuros in Ancient Greece, the “woggabaliri” in Australia, the “harpastum” in the Roman Empire and the “cuju” in China.

The modern rules of football are based on the efforts made in the mid-19th century to standardize the various forms of football played in state schools in England. The history of football in England dates back at least to the eighth century. Britain is the only country that maintains four separate national teams (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) in honour of its contribution to the sport.

Giannis Papachristou  is head  of the football club.

Historical records reveal that fencing as a martial art or sport has been in existence for at least 3500 years. In its present form, fencing is a modern complex sport that dates back about five centuries. The first fencing schools appeared in Europe in the early 16th century. The Italians, Hungarians and French were the first to create three major schools. Techniques and tactics gradually improved. In 1896 fencing became an Olympic sport at the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens. Since then, it has been included at every Olympic games. In 1913 the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime  (FIE) was founded. Fencing offers a comprehensive training of the body as well as a sense of the body, hand-eye coordination and an improvement in balance and rhythm.

Fencing is one of the safest close-contact sports due to the teaching of strict safety rules during the first lessons, the specially constructed materials and the rules of courtesy and respect for the opponent governing the sport.

Nikos Psychas, a Physical Education graduate, an MSc exercise and nutrition teacher and fencing coach with distinctions and medals at world-class European championships as well as at the Youth Olympic Games is head of the fencing club.

Tennis has its roots in ancient Greece in a 5th Century BC game, played with a large light ball, and the hits were made either with a fist or a shoulder. During the Middle Ages, tennis was cultivated in the courtyards of the nobility. In its modern form, the sport emerged in Britain in the 1870s. It became popular in the British Empire and spread very quickly all over the world. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) was founded in 1913 and comprises 200 member countries. Tennis was part of the programme of the Olympic Games from 1896 to 1924. It returned to the Games in Los Angeles in 1984 as a demonstration sport, and in 1988 it re-joined the competitive programme as a full medal sport.

Christina Zachariadou, holder of a USPTR Professional Coach Certification, is head of tennis. Ms. Zachariadou has participated at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Atlanta and Athens, won gold medals at the Mediterranean Games and achieved high positions in the ITF – world ranking from the age of 14. Through her personal team, she has focused her efforts recently on young tennis players who have gone on to win first places in their national championships. The fact that athletes participate at international level is also of significant importance.

Water polo has existed since 1996, although since then it has changed a lot. The regulations often change in an attempt by the international federation to make the sport more spectacular. According to a rumour, once in the Indies, English polo players hooked the ball into an adjacent lake. The polo players found the opportunity to dive into the water to cool off and realised that it could become a similar game in the water. Consequently, water polo was played with a small polo ball for the first time in a pool that had two boats at a distance of 50 meters as goals.

Later the size of the space was decreased,but the ball was enlarged. English swimmers, along with William Wilson, a Scottish aquatics pioneer, organized the first unofficial games in 1876. Within 10 years, the first regulations were drawn up and the first championship matches took place. In 1890, the first international match between England and Scotland was played at Kensington Baths in London. The Scots won 4-0. The sport spread to Wales and Ireland. In 1901, the first international game involving opponents from Hungary and the Viner Atletic Sports Club was held in Vienna, and polo was added to the Olympic Games programme in 1900. By 1930, a variation of the sport was played in the USA with a semi-inflated ball and the object was to hold onto it for as long as possible.

For many years, the Hungarians were European and World champions. They won the title 10 times in the first 14 events. Then came the former Soviet Union and Germany. Since 1985, women’s water polo has been included in the programme. The Dutch ladies were the first champions.

Angeliki Gerolymou, retired Olympic and World champion, is head of water polo.

Michalis Kotzambasis, Physical Education instructor, is head of volleyball.

Α.Ο.Ν.Ν.Ν.Ε Amazons academy coach

A2 National Volleyball Champion 2014

K 20 Beach volleyball champion in 2001.

Ioannis Drymonakos is head of swimming.

Physical Education teacher

Former member of the Greek national swimming team who has participated with 3 Olympics. Holder of 7 European championship medals and a total of 68 national records.

The Triathlon, the fastest-growing Olympian sport today, became an Olympic sport for the first time in Sydney in 2000, and consists of swimming, cycling and running. The triathlon is usually conducted in the open sea for swimming, and on paved roads (with reasonable altitudinal differences) for running or cycling. In the last few years, cross triathlons have been organized on unpaved, rough or hilly terrains for which mountain bikes are employed whereas runners are made to compete on rough terrains with much steeper slopes (uphill or downhill).The triathlon is the ideal aerobic sport, because it does not overstrain the body but utilises most muscle groups in the body.

Vasilis Krommyda, who has been a coach for the National Greek Triathlon team and is considered one of the most experienced certified coaches in his field, is head of the triathlon team.

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