Sydney’s Laconian diaspora unite to help Spartan robotics team compete in championship

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A group of high school students from Sparta, Laconia, are set to represent Greece at the Asia Pacific Open Championship 2023 for the FIRST LEGO League Challenge being held at Macquarie University in Sydney, New South Wales from June 30 to July 2. 

The team, which calls itself “Northside,” consists of five boys and five girls. The Greek Herald spoke with the team’s coach, Konstantinos Mpompas, and he explained how the students came to be successful.

Laconian robotics team. Photo: Supplied.
Laconian robotics team. Photo: Supplied.

“The team first participated in a regional robotics contest which took place in Sparta,” Konstantinos said.

“We then went to Thessaloniki for the grand finale of FIRST LEGO League, where 60 teams and 600 students participated. Our team came eighth, which means that we are among the nine teams that take part in competitions abroad. 

“Two of those positions were for the Asia Pacific Open which takes place in Sydney, Australia.”

Laconian robotics team. Photo: Supplied.

Konstantinos said the financial cost of travelling to Australia worried the students, but he didn’t need to fear. 

The Laconian Federation (NSW) is hosting a fundraiser dance on Saturday, June 3 at the Mytilenian House from 6.30pm to help make the group’s dream come true in the land down under. 

The Laconian Federation, comprising of six associations in NSW representing various regions of Laconia, is taking this initiative as part of its stated objective ‘to promote cultural, social and economic co-operation between Laconians in Greece and Australia and the Oceania region.’ 

Laconian robotics team. Photo: Supplied.

Konstantinos said the students are grateful and really excited.

“We had the help of the diaspora and the students now see their participation happening,” he said. 

“They are excited and despite the fact that in Greece they are starting to prepare for their exams, they still continue to work hard in order to be even better at this competition and chase one more medal.” 

Asked about how he feels about receiving support from the Greeks of the diaspora, Konstantinos said that the connection is something emotional and moving. 

“When I make contact with representatives from the diaspora, I get goosebumps,” he said.

“The response that they show is amazing. I didn’t know that a Laconian association existed in Australia and we can’t wait to come meet you and maybe we can find a way for that kind of communication to continue.”

In a statement, the Laconian Federation encouraged all associations and organisations in Australia to support the students and their upcoming fundraising event.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, 3 June 2023 
  • Venue: Mytilenian House – 225 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury, NSW, 2193 
  • Time: 6:30pm 
  • Tickets: Adults: $60 (includes food, drinks can be purchased at the bar), Children (6-12y): $30, Kids under 6: free
  • Contact: Tom Kokoris (president) 0498 985 800 | Linda Legas (vice president) 0423 301 770 Chris Apostolakos (secretary) 0416 106 840 | John Kosmas (treasurer) 0417 240 419 Maria Glekas 0415 384 919 | Peter Kokinakos 0424 522 491 | Mary Skalkos 0410 258 308 Peter Tsigounis 0404 222 982 | Dimitra Lentros 0478 087 007

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