With a goal to provide positive emotions for more children, to motivate them and to help improve their life skills, all using the power of basketball, VEF Riga continued its One Team programme last week in the Latvian capital.
In its first season as a One Team participant, VEF Riga has now teamed up with Riga Special Primary Boarding School No1. The two had successfully cooperated in the past, which made integration of the boarding school into One Team a natural next step in their partnership.
One Team is the corporate social responsibility project created by Euroleague Basketball and sponsored by Turkish Airlines to use the practice of basketball as a tool to integrate communities and support at-risk groups. Earlier this season, VEF Riga engaged in a One Team project with the Marsa Gatve Child Crisis Center.
The club's One Team ambassadors, Gerald Robinson and Janis Timma, took the court together with the children from the boarding school on March 12. The first One Team session with the ambassadors opened up with a warmup, followed by special basketball drills designed to focus on teamwork and motivation. At the end of the session, the ambassadors shared experiences from their careers in basketball, stressing the importance of hard work and persistence, values that apply universally on and off the court.
Riga Special Primary Boarding School No1 is an educational institution for children with intellectual difficulties. The school specializes in preparing the students to live successfully in society by helping them to work as adequate to their health status and by developing them both physically and mentally.
"I definitely enjoy participating in the One Team movement," Robinson said. "I think this is great, especially because we as athletes can make an impact on other lives. It is important to give back to the community."
"For kids, these kinds of sessions are very valuable because this is something motivating," Timma aded. "Everyday life for children from this boarding school is not easy, so hopefully, One Team can give them an extra boost. It is very nice to join the One Team programme, to see smiles and joy on the children faces. Also, it is great to see VEF Riga expanding this programme to Latvia."