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Tuesday
Jun272017

The HBHA family would like to express our sincere condolences to Mr Christos Manos and his family for the loss of his dear mother.

Mrs Paraskevi Manos passed away after a long courageous battle with her illness.

It is never easy to lose a loved one especially a parent, we are deeply saddened by the news.

Chris Manos has been a member of the HBHA since 2011 and had participated in the 2011 , 2013 and 2015 World Ball Hockey championships along with the 2014 Masters Championship.

To our good friend, and excellent teammate on behalf of the large HBHA family, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

Wednesday
Jun142017

Great Tourney, Great Guys !

Now that the dust has settled and the 2017 world ball hockey championships are over it is time for me to share my thoughts and feelings.

Over the last 18 months the HBHA committee and I have worked tirelessly in order to prepare and field a great team for this tournament.

Preparing and organizing for such an event is never easy. There were many stressful times and challenges along the way. The most important of all is the rigorous task of selecting the team and therefore the players that would represent our Greek culture and heritage on the world stage at these championships.

 Every year we strive to field the best team possible and after our best finish (4th) in 2015 we didn't want to make too many changes. Trying to assemble a championship team isn't easy. It's like finding the perfect pieces to a puzzle. What made this task even more difficult was the unfortunate loss of 4 core players (George Nistas, Danny Novis, Joey Barbas and Jesse Barbas).

We do however always seem to add some new players and this year was no different with 7 new players selected (Chris Vagenas, Alex Bitsakis, Costa Kakivelis, Robert Barbas, Michael Pinios, Spiro Goulakos, Philip Klitirinos) .

Along with our returning players our squad was complete (Mike Hionis, Nick Rompontinios, Nick Tzaferis, John Adamou, Manny Arkalis, Josh Barbas, Michael Barbas, Nicholas Pitsikoulis, Kevin Kuzmarski, Steve Alvo, Peter Arkalis, Adam Romano, John Vrettis, Peter Karvouniaris, Peter Giannoumis and Mario Argiris)

The pressure was on this team to perform as good or even better than 2015.

A difficult task to say the least with so many new players and new tougher divisions.

The other issue is that our team is selected mostly from players of 2 provinces which make`s it very hard to practice as a team, compared to other nations that have been practicing together for over 2 years.

Our team performed very well in this tournament and showed once more that not only can we compete but we can beat anyone. At the end we lost in the bronze medal game in front of thousand of Czech fans rooting for their home nation. A 4-3 loss in a game that we outplayed the 3 time champions and had silenced the crowd.  Perhaps some bounces are way and some marginal calls would have a different outcome, but that's a story for another day. The full recap of games can be viewed at www.hbha.gr

Another 4 the place finish is a great accomplishment in a tournament of 20 nations. We are proud, we sent a message again that we are here to stay, we are knocking on the door and we will tear it down!

I have been at the helm of this association since its creation in 2008. At times the work seems overwhelming and the thought of stepping down has crossed my mind many times. However the group of players we had showed me why I do this and why it's worthwhile. I have never seen a whole team get along like this. Everyone cared and respected each other. They fought for each other on the floor and gave it all they had, they hung out off the floor and laughed and celebrated as proud Greeks do.

As long as players like these commit to the HBHA and its dream then I shall be at the helm doing my best to lead them to victory.

I made a promise to work until Greece would be the world champions of ball hockey and the committee and I won’t relent until this task is completed.

If you love the game of hockey, if you are a fierce competitor and want to win, if you are of Greek descent and want to represent your culture and heritage on an amazing world stage then contact us. The countdown towards the 2019 World ball hockey championships has begun immediately.

On a final note I want to say a special thank you to some important people.

Thank you to our sponsors who continuously support us year after year after year. We would never be able to field the best team without your support. You make this possible ( please visit our website for all our great sponsors)

Thank you to the employers who allow our players to take the time off every 2 years to represent their team while wearing the blue and white jersey proudly.

Thank you to the players who work hard to get in shape and commit to our ultimate goal and making memories that last a lifetime. To past and future HBHA members who will always be part of our family.

Thank you to the staff of the HBHA who work for so long and do this as volunteers. Without you there is no HBHA.

Thank you to our fans, past players, masters players all over the world who watch our games online and In the stands, who comment and support is via social media, who contact us via texts or emails, who call us to say congrats and keep it up. We know you are watching and it means so much as we feel the support of the whole Greek nation. One of pride and honour. Zito Hellas !!

And lastly thank you to our amazing families, our wife's and children, our parents and relatives , that believe in us, and in what we do. There is no way that we can ever do this without your support and thank you cannot say enough about how we truly feel.

 

Sincerely John Kontitsis

HBHA President