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30.11.09

The Pan Hellenic spirit shines at games

Mens basketball. Gold medallists.

The gold winning Victorian men’s basketball team in unity at the Pan Hellenic Games in Melbourne at the weekend. Photo: Peter Kakalias

The Pan Hellenic Games of Oceania were concluded yesterday after a three-day sports and cultural celebration that saw scores of young Greek Australian descent on Melbourne.

The Games, which were organised by the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) of Oceania and Far East, were heralded as a big success as more than 700 athletes from across the country and New Zealand took part.

The Victorian Minister for Sports and Youth, James Merlino said that he felt honoured for being the patron of the Games.

“The Games are the biggest multidiscipline sporting event outside Greece involving Greek communities... so it’s a major event and it’s quite fitting that it’s being hosted here in Melbourne,” Mr Merlino underscored.

He pointed out that Melbourne has recently been awarded as the best sports city and further argued that Melbourne is the “modern day Olympia of the southern hemisphere.”

“These Games really send a very important message not only to young people in terms of healthy active life-styles but also coming together as a community,” Mr Merlino added. The Pan Hellenic Games, he highlighted, are a celebration of sport, of youth and a celebration of Melbourne’s cultural diversity.

Mr Merlino recognised the organisers of the event and especially the President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, Stefanos Tamvakis who came to Australian and particularly Melbourne for the Games.

The 450 men and 250 women competed in 12 sporting events including football, basketball, swimming, diving, track and field, judo, pankratio, taekwondo, wrestling, water polo and weight lifting.

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