Behind the scenes: January 2011

2011... We had used the inter-season (the break 2010-2011) to multiply meetings with the GGA (General Secretary of Sports) in an attempt to find a durable solution. We knew we were legitimate in organising these races, with such diligence. We only wanted to have the sign-off from some form of authority, backing us up on it. 

In the end, what we obtained was a bit ambiguous. We put forward an official question to the GGA himself, basically asking: "Is the National Federation's claim to be the only body empowered to organise races correct, or can we, as private organisers, organise races outside of the National Federation scope?". 

To which the GGA replied: "It is possible for HOP Ltd to organise races as long as it does not fall in the scope of the National Championship of the Federation of Greece". 

Well.. It was as best an answer as we would get, so we took it as our sesame for the 2011 races. We had not gotten the magic sesame that would set us free. The paper of the GGA would still be subject to interpretation, and we would still have to go to lenghts to ask for clarification, justification etc... Until a new GGA would come into place and all will have to be done again from scratch. 

The season 2011 started with the hint, on our side as organisers, that we would have to make a decision. Yes, we could be stubborn (we had proven it extensively over the past 4 years) and get what we wanted. None of our races, despite all the threats we received, had ever been cancelled. But were we willing to sign up, year after year, for more troubles, with not a light in sight about how the issue could be solved? In a country whose economic situation was degrading so fast, that it was clear to see that sport & leisure would soon fall at the bottom of the pile of important things to sort out...

I have given a lot, from organising the races benevolently, to dropping my career and working full time on this small business, facing all sort of sabotage and unjustful claims... Starting the 2011 season, I was already worn off from 4 difficult years, and although I committed as usual to deliver our best, I knew this was gonna be my last contribution to the sport over here... Other brave athletes would have to pick up the relay to keep the sport going in this country...

Schiniathlon video

Short story of Schininathlon, the classic triathlon event at Schinias bay, Athens, Greece"

Video shot during Schiniathlon events of 2011 and produced by Transition Sports