British Forces Cyprus personnel and members of the Sovereign Base Area community showed its support to a charity football tournament last week to support a four-year old girl from Akrotiri village who is tragically suffering from cancer.
The tournament at the Akrotiri Community Stadium, which was jointly-organised by the Akrotiri Primary School Parents Association, the SBA Police and the Akrotiri Football Club, attracted more than 200 spectators and eight entered teams from across various organisations.
Vakis Michael, a member of the Parents Association and an Environmental Officer working at the Akrotiri Environmental and Education Centre, said the ‘Support Paulina’ campaign had been gathering momentum and was something people were very keen to get behind.
He explained: “This is a very, very sad situation and the local and Bases community are trying to do everything they can to help out Paulina and her family in this very difficult time.”
Paulina and her family have been in Germany for specialist treatment since April and they are expected to remain there for approximately 18 months but after giving up their jobs to go to Germany with their daughter, Michael explained they needed as much help as possible.
He continued: “This is a situation you would never wish on any family and they have done whatever it takes to take care of their little girl and this meant giving up their jobs and moving to a different country to give her the very best treatment available.
“By organising these charity events – this is one of many – we are able to relieve some of the burden placed on the family at a time when their focus should rightly be on their daughter.
“Thankfully, this football tournament has raised a significant amount of money towards helping them in this time of need.”
The tournament, which was won by the Cyprus Police, saw teams from the SBA Police, RAF Akrotiri, the Cyprus Fire Service, the Cyprus Football Association, two teams from Akrotiri village and one from Ypsonas all take part.
And it was this cross-section of teams and the spectators that followed them, that made Vakis the other event organisers so proud of the efforts.
He continued: “It is at times like these when you see how a community – multiple communities – can come together to help put those in need and this is exactly what has happened in this situation and it is heartening to see.
“There will be other charity events taking place and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already, to get involved and support Paulina when she needs all of our help to fight this terrible illness.”