This program explores sports and diet in ancient Greece, while also providing a rigorous exercise schedule for participants. We cover three different aspects of sports and fitness. We begin with their history in ancient Greece, using the Olympic Games and other Panhellenic sports festivals as case studies. Then we explore aspects of the famous Mediterranean diet, its evolution since antiquity, and its contemporary use. This theoretical framework is followed by training sessions with UEFA A’ licensed coaches and practice matches against local soccer teams. It is an innovative approach to study abroad programs, that provides a holistic experiential learning process, and enables students to develop new interests, while providing valuable training with accomplished Greek athletes.
History of the Ancient Olympic Games
This module encourages students to survey the origins of sports by focusing on ancient Greek sporting events. There were four separate major sports festivals held in ancient Greece: the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus, the Pythian Games in honor of Apollo, the Nemean Games in honor of Zeus and Hercules, and the Isthmian Games in honor of Poseidon. Collectively, these were known as the “Panhellenic Games” and the main events were wrestling, boxing, pankration, various foot and chariot races, as well as the pentathlon. We will explore the venues where these events were held, the political and social conditions that prevailed in each region, and the value of victory to an athlete. Students will also become acquainted with ancient sports through practical demonstrations of techniques and improvised games.
The importance of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet and its gradual evolution through the centuries is the main focus of this module. Initially, the students will learn about the cuisine and eating habits of the Greeks in antiquity. The climate and the generally rocky soil of Greece meant that the ancient cuisine was frugal and based on wheat, olive oil, and wine. Bread, fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, cheese, honey, and some meat were the staples of the ancient dining table. We will explore methods of food preparation and consumption, as well as the most common utensils used. Our focus will be the athlete’s diet. The module also has an interactive part, where participants will prepare typical Mediterranean dishes…and then taste them. There will also be a comprehensive reference to the modern Mediterranean diet and its many benefits.
Soccer Training Session
In this module, the participants will cover the various aspects of a typical soccer training routine and put them into practice between themselves and on friendly matches against local teams. The topics covered will include the analysis of mechanical and kinesiological technical skills required for soccer players, and techniques to develop those. Furthermore, there will be a comprehensive schedule of movement, ball control, passing, and shooting exercises, as well as drills and exercises to work on team synergy and the development of a cohesive team spirit and attitude. Finally, participants will explore some basic offensive and defensive techniques employed by professional soccer players.
- Visit the site of Ancient Olympia, where the Olympic Games were born, and countless athletes
traveledto in order to compete and achieve everlasting glory
- Experience the history of the Panhellenic Games in a number of locations, from Nemea, to the Corinthian Isthmus, and Athens
- Practice with UEFA A’ licensed coaches, and learn new practice routines, employed by Greek teams
- Play in friendly matches with local teams to practice the new techniques you’ve learned
- Learn about the importance of the Mediterranean diet, and how to implement it in your daily lives
- Visit the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum, and explore one of the most famous ancient monuments in the world
- Visit the Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro (lit. “beautiful marble”), the only stadium in the world built entirely with marble, and learn about the sports that athletes competed in during the Panathenaic Games in Ancient Greece
Students that participate in this academic and fitness program will develop a better understanding of the history of western sports and competition, as well as the importance of a healthy diet. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to learn basic concepts and training routines for soccer, and practice those with qualified professionals, and against local teams. Lastly, the program promotes experiential learning, creating unique memories and experiences that will inspire participants in the future to pursue their interests.
PERKS & OPTIONS
What is included in our programs?
- 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
- Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
- Breakfast and lunch
- Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
- Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
- All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
- Information material
- Local taxes
- Travel insurance
- Transport to and from the airport in Greece
- Airfares to and from Greece
- Any custom request