In a unique gathering for a monumental Press Conference organised by Sofia Konstantopoulou – the communications and corporate coordinator at Life Action Trust, at a full house in London’s Hellenic Centre, and in view of the forthcoming Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, some home truths surfaced which, if properly tackled, will lead to a promising result – for the benefit of all, to all intents and purposes!
Life Action Trust and ideagenesis’ marketing did the trick, and under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism and the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, together with the valuable assistance and sponsorship of Unistream Money Transfers, Minoan Group PLC, ANEK Line and many others, the press conference not only will remain monumental, as mention above, but beyond that point.
The event was purely organised to honour the Hellenic Rowing Crews, which clinched the bronze medal in women’s lightweight double sculls (Lw2x) with Tsiavou and Giazitzidou at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as the Mens Four (M4) who managed to get the fourth place – Papachristos, Tzialas, Tsilis and Christou, and lastly the Gountoulas brothers who ended ninth in the Mens Doubles (M2)! Obviously not a bad performance by all who, considering that Greece retains the enviable first place in the world’s rowing rankings, and obligations are at stake…
Spyros Capralos was there in his capacity as president of the Greek Olympic Commission; the head of the Greek Olympic team Isidore Kouvelos; the President of the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Harry Ikonomopoulos, the President of the Hellenic Rowing Federation Yiannis Karras who talked about the achievements in the London Olympics and the detailed projection programme until Rio and beyond. Karras stressed also the fact that Greece retains the enviable first place in the world rankings, proving the enormous strides the team has managed under adverse …weather situation and the austerity which really bites and it will become detrimental if supporters fail to come up and heavily contribute to save the day! Moreover he was explicit in saying that the team produced results and the collection of all those medals and good position, speaks for itself. Moreover in presenting the 2012-2014 HRF programme he stressed the targeting of the future development and financial strengthening of champion-making but also the financial development of 35 cities across Greece that are capable in promoting and obviously becoming rowing destination centres of international calibre.
Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain bless the event, the Olympic anthem was performed by soprano Anastassia Zannis and the strong message, a Grid of Values by Chrysanthi P. Lemos, the president of Life Action Trust and Ambassador of the Hellenic Rowing Federation in Great Britain still echoes: Friendship, Family, Hope, Joy, Developing, Vision and Cooperation. She maintained that the Greek Community in London and beyond will rally and support Rowing concluding that the entire London Greeks watched with agony and great interest the athletes efforts, assuring them that they will all be by their side! Well received also the British – Hellenic Chamber of commerce President’s greeting; Harry Ikonomopoulos at his best with wise reminders!
Spyros Diamantis, the Press attaché from the Greek Embassy was the moderator and it was worth listening to all members of the Greek rowing Team, their coaches, doctor, Harry Ikonomopoulos and the head coach Giovanni Postiglione, who just managed to make it due to other pre-occupations at the same time. Postiglione hailed the efforts of athletes and said that the crisis could work for the benefit of rowing as “world, high level events could take place for the benefit of all…”
Worth remembering Capralos’ point that “…success is not that easy, its demanding and the scarification of life’s other pleasures coupled with hard work do bring these results..” Kouvelos, whilst congratulating the athletes, federation, coaches, doctors and all involved mentioned that “…they all are an example for Greek peoples’ current hardship and hailed the sponsors and supporters contribution, ” stating how proud he is, not only for the medals won, but for the Greek participation in its entirety in London’s 2012 Olympics; he hopes that more medals in this particular event will be won!
The athletes too, one by one referred in a very humane way, a very touching way, to the difficulties they faced and continue to face as the Greek State left them unpaid for nearly three years (2009) and that they will opt to private sponsors, being the only solution. Moreover they asked the media to support them as, and rightly so per all mentioning, the media doesn’t support them!!!! Lastly they said that their team is more than promising, given the low age average, explained that newcomers imperatively need incentives and motivation in order to be able to continue with sports.
Interesting questions by the members of the press and media as well as answers, a very free situation which enabled the audience to participate too and hope that the Greek State understands that without the private initiative nothing can be done.-
We at www.allaboutshipping.co.uk intend to assist as much as possible and make sure these projects do materialise; excellent. We must also mention that the shipping industry worldwide is involved as Capralos, Kouvelos, the Lemos’ and others participating including ANEK, Minoan Group Plc, maritimes.gr and many others run or have been involved with companies well placed in the international shipping spectrum, and their sensitivity is well known. By coincidence or not, most of Greece’s medals in World, Olympic and other Games come from the sea-sports: Sailing, Rowing, Windsurfing to name but a few! After all King Constantine and his entire family, who participated in many of the current Olympic events, is a gold Medallist in Sailing at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome!
A drinks and dips reception followed with the faithful remaining until very late, so they had the rare chance to speak to the athletes, coaches, sponsors and supporters as well as the leaders of the groups participating and take photographs with them!
Amongst others we spoted: Alexandros Kedros and his wife, Stamos Houlis, the Greek Ambassador’s wife and daughter, Christopher Egleton with his wife and son, Fotini Georganta, George Leventis, Liz Brewer, Ageliki Bousalidou, Mike Sweeny, Matt Smith, The Dixons and their friends, Paul Maguire, Nikos and Anthippi N. Lemos, and many many others.
P.S. Well received also the British – Hellenic Chamber of Commerce President’s greeting; Harry Ikonomopoulos at his best!
Viewers can log on www.keep-rowing-greece.com and see the development and progress, as well as support same!