By ICP Examiner Tina Salafatinos
Faliro, Athens – Inline skating in Greece is growing steadily supported by yet another successful ICP Program. John Kousparis, organizer and host for all the programs thus far, as well as an ICP Apprentice Examiner, has been instrumental in setting up the sites, bringing the candidates together and organizing the entire weekend.
Congratulations are in order for Iordana Gortzili and Giorgos Daskalopoulos (Daskalo means teacher in Greek!) who flew in from Thessaloniki (another great hub for inline skating within the country) and Leftheris Gavrikalis, Ioannis “John” Gavrilakis and Ioannis“Little John” Tsochlas all from Artemis, Greece. Little John’s father has a small skating rink Popay,pronounced Popeye, in the area and the Gavrilakis boys are his cousins who are also quad skaters. I am inclined to believe “Little John” is the youngest instructor in the ICP at 13 years old. His focus and skill demonstrates his experience with teaching prior to the program.
Friday night is our usual church location, time, materials, projection screen, tables chairs (chocolate) all provided gratis from John’s Kousparis and his brother. Our base is the Flo Café in Faliro where we lunch on Saturday and do our written test and graduation Sunday. The owner, who has come to expect our group each year, even sections off an area in the café just for us.
The skate location is nearby at the Flisvos Marina in sight of beautiful yachts and sailing boats underneath a slatted over pass that provides shade and an ocean breeze despite the heat wave. Definitely an ideal program location!
We are nearing complete translation of the program from English to Greek. As I am sure it is with other languages, it is proving challenging. Keeping the proper skating terminology as well as coordinating the manual with the written test is not easy but we are getting through it. In addition, John is looking to complete his examiner training so that he can do the programs solely in Greek, without having to translate from English. It is wonderful to see all the parts of the program coming together so well in the country.
As always with a program there is the unexpected. When we arrived to the skating site we found that there were workmen power washing the surface! Knowing that wheels and water do not mix, we quickly found another spot for our optional skills clinic and by the time we were finsihed, the area was clean and ready for us.
Sunday brought surprises with the most introverted of the group proving to be the most vocally impressive and extroverted during the practical testing. It’s never a surprise however to see the love of skating and the passion candidates have to further the sport and share it with others.
Another passionate group of teachers certified and ready to grow the sport of inline skating in Greece!