By Pamela Rontziokos.
Greek Australian, Amy Orphanides, will represent Oceania in soccer at the International World University Games next year in China.
The competition is second-best to the Olympic Games, with thousands of participants and over 100 countries involved.
The event sees university students showcase their athleticism and battle it out for an internationally recognized sports title.
Amy’s soccer team from the University of Sydney (USYD) qualified for the World University Games after a tough match against New Zealand’s University of Canterbury on Wednesday night at the Sydney University TAG Family Foundation Grandstand.
“It was such a close game. We played the full 90 minutes and it finished at nil. So we had to play 30 minutes of extra time and ended up winning 2-0,” the 19-year-old told The Greek Herald.
Amy, who is studying a Bachelor of Primary Education at USYD, has been playing soccer since she was five years old and representative soccer since she was 11 years old. She plays for the St George Football Club.
Her father, a Greek migrant from Lesvos, was an ex-soccer player and got her into the game at a young age.
“At Christmas and Easter I’m always just playing in the backyard. I’ve grown up around it. My cousin is Jonathan Aspropotamitis [a defender for WA Perth Glory] and is really influential to me,” she said.
“Whenever he’s playing one night we always go and watch him play.”
Amy herself has gone overseas multiple times thanks to soccer, including to America and England in 2018. Now, she’s looking forward to the World Uni Games in China next year.
“To be able to win [the FISU Oceanic Continental Qualifying Tournament University World Cup] and go to China and play against other universities from all around the world is going to be such an amazing experience,” she concluded.