details of interview
Role of the Interviewed: student / high school volleyball player
Type of radicalization: racism, social radicalization
Historical period collocation: 2015
Date/Country of the Interview: 03/10/2018, Greece
Interviewer: Municipality of Evrotas
Municipality of Evrotas
As far as I am concerned, I have always been an active and restless youngster, always trying to understand and help others and contribute to my school community and to the society in general. I am humble, honest, and shy, but not always low-profile and I adore truth and justice.
It all started 3 years ago, when I was at the age of 16 years old. During a gym class, our physical education teacher proposed to all of the girls of my classroom to form 2 teams and play volleyball. Our teacher explained to all of us the basic volleyball rules and terminology and we got started. That day I had the best experience in my life, as I enjoyed very much playing with my classmates with whom I had always the best relationship and I understood how much I loved to play volleyball. In the meantime, I knew that in our school we were having a high school girls’ volleyball team, which was composed by schoolgirls of all of the three grades of high school. Therefore I decided that since I love and enjoy so much playing volleyball, I should talk with our physical education teacher and do whatever it takes to join the team.
Our physical education teacher talked to me quite strict and negatively and seemed that she did not want me to join the volleyball team, something that still today I cannot understand and justify. She approved my participation in the team with great difficulty, while the rest of the girls on the team were extremely opposed to my introduction to the team. The first day of my appearance in the team, the majority of the girls instead of welcoming me, indicated their dissatisfaction by grimacing and demonstrated their upset. In short, from the very first moment, they were keep making insulting comments about my economic, social and family background, talking in front of me loudly and with emphasis about how warm family they have and how much they were loved by their parents and the gifts that they were buying to them and how they are spending their free time and weekends with their parents.
As a consequence, I felt sad and that I was treated unfairly, I got too angry both with my teammates and with the physical education teacher who was training us and was watching what was going on without any intention of interfering and putting them in their place and in the meantime I quit the team. There was no effort neither from my teammates nor from our teacher to bring me back to the team. That made me even angrier.
Thereafter, I was very frustrated and I had convinced myself that I have to take justice into my own hands. I started searching on the web and the more I was reading, more passionate I was becoming. At one point, I actually though that it would be better if I also find some other young people, with similar experiences, that are willing to administer our own form of justice. So, I started searching in forums, where different people were expressing their opinions, beliefs and life experiences and I was chatting and aiming to meet face-to-face with whoever was matching this profile.
End of the story. How did the story end up? What have you learned from this personal experience? What would you say to people who are living similar situations?
Today I am studying at University and in the meantime I am working and I have started thinking of finding and joining an amateur team and playing again volleyball, which I love so much. After all these I have learned that all people sometimes may be treated unfairly and get disappointed and maybe frustrated and sad but this doesn’t mean that we have to overcome this situation in this way. There are many ways to cope with such issues without the use of violence and unwanted means.