Utilizing sport to build trust–the case of Cyprus

Nicos L. Kartakoullis, George Karlis, Christina Loizou, Alexis Lyras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Republic of Cyprus became an independent state in 1960. It has been de facto divided since 1974. Efforts over the past 30 years to solve the Cyprus problem and reunify the island have not yet been successful yet. Various attempts have been made at different levels from politicians, professionals and the United Nations to bring the two communities on the island together but again these attempts have been without success. Sport has never been utilized in these attempts. Sports carry specific rules, norms and values that are in many instances more flexible than the ones adapted in general in social settings. Sport has been perceived as being a great socialization agent. The code of ethics in sports allow participants to interact at a different level, thus developing trust that can be transferred to other areas of life. Thus, the organization of summer camps through the “Doves Olympic Movement” presents the first attempt on the island of Cyprus to utilize sport and related activities to build trust in Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children. The purpose of the project was to enhance favourable development and relationships between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youths from the two communities in conflict. This paper examines the impact that the summer camps had on the children and instructors who participated in the camps, and how this participation managed to change their perceptions in relation to specific issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal for Sport and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • socialization agents
  • sport
  • summer camps
  • trust
  • understanding


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