Press Releases OPAP

OPAP Sports Academies score in basketball as well

OPAP, committed to investing in youth and the future of sports, continues for a sixth year the implementation of the “OPAP Sports Academies” program. The program, which began in 2014, is a significant investment to the future of sports, since it mainly aims at promoting sports ideals, helping children become good athletes today and better humans tomorrow.


For five years, the program has been focusing on football having supported 210 amateur academies and 45,000 children around the country. Starting from this year, “OPAP Sports Academies” program expands in basketball as well, and welcomes 50 amateur basketball clubs from all over the country.


The new academies of the program and the significant results achieved until now were presented in a special event that was held on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at Markopoulo Park (Athens Horse Race Track). The event was attended by OPAP Executive President, Kamil Ziegler, OPAP CEO, Damian Coper, 1st Vice President of OPAP, Spyros Fokas, OPAP Deputy CEO, Odysseas Christoforou and Hall of Famer Rick Pitino, who highlighted the contribution of the program to the creation of the future great basketball players.


The event’s invitees included leading figures of basketball and football, basketball players of BC Panathinaikos OPAP, athletes of Panathinaikos AC and athletes of the National Wheelchair Basketball Team.


OPAP Deputy CEO, Odysseas Christoforou said: “OPAP Sports Academies program expresses our commitment and is a significant investment in the future of sports. The main goal is to promote sports ideals. The program now expands in basketball, a sport that all Greeks love, which has offered to our country great distinctions and has introduced legendary players of the Greek and international sports. We consider that OPAP Sports Academies program will have the same success in basketball, as in football. I am personally very happy by the fact that the program includes remoted areas of our country, such as Kastoria, Florina, Feres, Kos and Kalymnos, where the development of sports is very significant”.


A total of 5,000 athletes, from 5 to 12 years old, participate in the 50 amateur basketball clubs, which are now supported by OPAP Sports Academies. These include 6 academies from Aegean islands, 14 academies from Northern Greece, 5 academies from Southern Greece and Crete, 10 academies from Central Greece, as well as 15 academies from Attica. Their choice was made through a thorough and completely transparent procedure, based on qualitative and quantitative criteria.


Support to 178 sports academies around Greece


This year, the OPAP Sports Academies program supports 50 academies and 128 amateur football clubs from all over Greece. A total of 18,000 children participate in the 178 academies of both sports, enjoying the following benefits:


  • Coaching directions based on international standards
  • Scientific support by specialized pediatricians, pediatric psychologists and nutritionists
  • High quality sports equipment
  • Insurance coverage during practices and matches
  • Participation in big sports festivals with educational and entertainment character


Moreover, parents/chaperons of the children participate in seminars and experiential activities that mainly concern psychology and nutrition issues.