Throughout last summer and into the autumn contractors and workers laboured mightily on the other side of the valley to finish the stadium that would transform the dusty gravel pitch where generations of Koukliots had played football into a sports centre. They finished some time in the winter and now the school, the local kids, and the village football team all benefit from a properly built futsal pitch and a grass football field complete with canteen, toilets, and changing rooms.
On Friday the Littles' school hosted Trimithousa and Anarita primary schools for a combined athletic event. We were blessed with sunshine and a pleasant breeze, and the gathering began at just after nine a.m with some Greek dancing that segued into track events which included the 4th through 6th graders competing in high jump, long jump, 75 metres running, hurdles, shot put and javelin with light balls and foam javelins. It was Leo's first chance to compete – usually the younger grades have to sit and watch, which doesn't go down well.
Both finished the day around the middle levels in terms of times and throws – my children, with the exception of Alex who held his high school record for javelin for a while, excell at sports other than track and field – but but they enjoyed themselves and got to see old friends from Trimithousa school.
The venue was a huge improvement over the asphalt and gravel where competitors and spectators baked alike in previous years, and which has been responsible for many a scraped elbow and skinned knee in the past. Of course it will have to be watered over the summer to maintain its lush, verdant appearance, and is probably liberally dosed with pesticide, fungicide, and all sorts of other goodies to keep it 'healthy'...
...But that's another rave for another time.