December 1, 2015. One Team Week, a celebration of the important work that Turkish Airlines Euroleague clubs are doing to year-round to marginalized groups in communities all across the continent, will take place at all of the competition's games between Wednesday and Friday in 10 different countries across the continent.
The special activities include each and every Euroleague player putting One Team in place of his own name on the back of his jersey to show solidarity with the efforts being made daily by the clubs to bring Euroleague Basketball's corporate social responsibility programme to vulnerable members of their communities.
All 24 Euroleague clubs - plus 10 more in the Eurocup - have organized hands-on local One Team programmes again this season to aid in the integration of at-risk groups like substance abuse and spinal injury victims, among many, many others.
One Team Week will also highlight Euroleague Basketball's long-standing collaboration with Special Olympics during its own current promotion of European Basketball Week, of which this year's 12th edition is aimed at getting younger athletes involved in the sport through mini-basketball programs.
Euroleague players will stand side-by-side with Special Olympics athletes before every game this week to show that players with and without intellectual disabilities can be great teammates both on the court and in the community.
The collaboration with Special Olympics athletes will feature an exchange of gifts and photos with Euroleague players, while each game's head coaches will use One Team clipboards, among other court-area branding, to bring attention to Special Olympics and One Team.
"The efforts shared by One Team and Special Olympics to uplift people who need our help, and in particular the intellectually disabled men, women, boys and girls in our communities, is an important part of our mission and that of the clubs as they work hand-in-hand with their communities through their One Team programmes all year long," Roser Queraltó, Euroleague Basketball’s Chief Business Development Officer, said.
“I am delighted that the giants of the European basketball community, Euroleague Basketball and its One Team Programme are throwing their full weight behind the Special Olympics European Basketball Week again this year. Basketball Week is possible through the generosity and support of the ONE Team Programme and we are grateful for your dedication in supporting the work of Special Olympics and your deep passion for our athletes. 2015 marks the 12th year of European Basketball Week and this year our focus is on getting more young people involved in the game through mini-basketball. We will also continue to focus on bringing together players with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team playing Unified leading to a more inclusive and respectful world for everyone. Thank you to Euroleague and ONE Team for sharing our vision.” Mary Davis, Acting CEO of Special Olympics International stated.
About One Team:
One Team, Euroleague Basketball's corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, supported by Turkish Airlines as the One Team Founding Patron and with the collaboration of Special Olympics as Proud Partner, uses basketball to achieve real social impact in our communities. With an innovative model of interconnectedness across an entire continent, Euroleague Basketball and its clubs have developed a complete CSR program that brings together activities from each team in an integrated, impactful way, working under the theme of "community integration". Each participating club develops a specific One Team project tailored to its own community needs to benefit groups in danger of exclusion due to problems such as substance abuse and gender, physical or intellectual disability. Since its founding in 2012, the One Team programme has directly reached already 5,000 participants and can account for 5,000 more indirect participants through its various team projects.
About Special Olympics:
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in 33 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. At the core, Special Olympics is a sports organization that uses the power of sport as a catalyst for social change. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, today the Movement serves almost 5 million athletes in 177 countries. Through sport, Special Olympics challenges society. By highlighting how the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are not being met, the organization exposes inequity and exclusion. By drawing attention to the gifts and talents of people with intellectual disabilities misperceptions and negative attitudes are tackled and broken down.