|The Programme’s contribution for the establishment of the unique Basketball Museum in Greece|
Launching a Basketball Museum was a vision for Thessaloniki YMCA, especially in 2002, when with great regret YMCA had to demolish the first open-air basketball court in Thessaloniki (and most probably in Greece). The need for preservation and enhancement of the historicity and the importance of the Thessaloniki YMCA to the introduction of basketball in Greece and its development was imperative. However, the implementation of such a project was impossible.
The inclusion of the project under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme "Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013" with the acronym YMC(H)A was the catalyst that contributed to the founding of this unique Basketball Museum in Greece and the organization of parallel events, such as tree planting at the entrance of the Museum and educational workshops, aiming to promote the museum to the public.
In order, to maintain the historical memory, the YMCA founded the Basketball Museum, honoring through it, personalities of high importance, who served basketball with ethos and enthusiasm and highlighted YMCA into one of the major institutions of sport and culture.
The Museum was inaugurated on December 8, 2013 with the attendance of 2.000 visitors and guests and since then has already been visited by more than 1,000 students, while tours are scheduled and conducted on a daily basis.
Two great personalities coming from the so-called "old" and "modern" Greek basketball, Lakis Tsavas and Nikos Zissis, have been appointed as ambassadors for the Museum in Greece and abroad. In addition, the Alternate Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Stavros Kalafatis, the former Deputy Minister of Sports Yiannis Ioannidis, the General Secretary of Sports Kyriaki Giannakidou, members of the Board of Directors of EKASTH, the President of Greek Table Tennis Federation Manolis Kolymbadis, the Deputy Mayor of Finance of the Municipality of Thessaloniki Chasdai Capon, PAOK basketball team, the coach of several National Teams George Proestos, the international athletes of Aris Basketball team Lefteris Bochoridis and Alexander Vezenkov, the coach of Olympiakos basketball team George Bartzokas, the chairman of PAOK basketball team Bane Prelević, athletes such as Lazaros Papadopoulos, Alexei Zevrosenko, Nikos Hatzivrettas, Vassilis Paramanidis, Harris Papageorgiou, Takis Karatzoulidis, the coach Vangelis Alexandris, etc, are among the personalities who have already visited the museum.
"The most important aspect of this unique Museum is that the past, the present and the future of basketball come together. The past reveals to the visitors through the provided information during their tour in the Museum. The present is made up and consists by our athletes and sports teams, who continue the YMCA's rich athletic history. And the future lies in the hundreds of young boys and girls who participate in our sports academies, who are learning the secrets of the sport and most important, who are taught the ideals and principles of fair play, healthy competition and equal development of Mind, Spirit and Body" say Giorgos Bousvaros and George Petrides representing the Committee of YMCA Basketball Museum.
More information about the Museum can be found on the website of the Young Men's Christian Association of Thessaloniki: www.ymca.gr, the Museum's page on facebook: www.facebook.com/BMuseumYMCA as well as in the brochure attached.