OPAP SA, Grands Sponsor of Hellenic Paralympic Committee, organized a farewell event for the Paralympic Track & Field National Team that departed for the Track & Field Paralympic World Championships in Qatar, as part of the qualifying procedure for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. The special event was held at Airport El. Venizelos, shortly before the departure of the team for Doha, in a climate of optimism, and left many hopes for successes and distinctions.
During the departure of the team, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, Mr. Stavros Kontonis, stated: "I would like to say that the entire Greek people, not only of the Greek Government and the Prime Minister, wish the best for you. Because you make a significant effort to overcome difficulties and problems. And this is an example to us all. An example so as to overcome the current difficulties, the problems of the Greek society. We believe that your example will be followed by everyone. I would also like to thank the Federationfor the continuous efforts and effective management of finance funds, and also OPAP, whose sponsorship enables, in addition to government grants and state aid, the Greek athletes to do their best regarding the preparations and the racing track as well. Without OPAP's offer, things may not have been as good as now. And we are pleased that today we are at a satisfactory point. I would like to thank you all, wish you a nice trip, a good performance in the games and victorious efforts."
Mr. George Fountoulakis President of the Greek Paralympic Committee and National Sport Federation for Persons with Disabilities, expressed his estimation that the Hellenic Paralympic Track & Field Team will celebrate major distinctions in World Championship in Qatar, yet several qualifications for the Paralympic Games in Rio. "The Hellenic Paralympic Track & Field Team has celebrated, until today, 45 medals in world championships, a number that we will try to increase in the world champion of Qatar. Our hopes for new distinctions are based on the new generation. All those young athletes who are the present and the future of the Paralympic Movement in our country. Of course, we could not achieve all these, without OPAP on our side, which actively supports our efforts. It is a fact that without OPAP's help, the Paralympic Movement would not have been able to achieve all these and participate in top sport events. OPAP is on our side and we feel very honored by this."
Mr. Spyros Fokas, Vice President of OPAP SA, thanked the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. Stavros Kontonis for his attendance at the event and stated: "We go to Doha with strength and courage, like Greeks! We wish good luck to all the athletes with all our hearts, and we are hopeful that the National Team will return to Greece with important distinctions and successes from the world championship for yet one more time. OPAP actively supports the efforts of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee and our athletes who make everything possible and succeed at every opportunity to inspire and make all Greeks proud with their persistence, their effort and their unparalleled will. We remain faithful to our commitment and continue our offer, helping in every way possible the expansion of the Greek Paralympic Movement and high ideals that it serves."
Mr. Odysseas Christoforou, General Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations of OPAP SA stated: "this is an important sponsorship for our company, which practically reflects our support in Greek society and sports. The distinctions and successes by the athletes of the National Track & Field Paralympic Team are examples of strength and willpower."