A newly refurbished basketball court has opened its doors in Madrid thanks to an association between Euroleague Basketball’s corporate social responsibility program One Team and Dogus Group’s Stay in the Game initiative.
The facility at IES Pio Baroja, a public school in the Usera district to the south of Madrid’s city centre, was given its official opening on Thursday in a special ceremony attended by several luminaries of European basketball.
Among those was Euroleague Basketball Ambassador Ibrahim Kutluay, the former Euroleague champion who is now also the executive board director of Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul.
Kutluay was thrilled to support the event, saying: “This is exactly what the association between One Team and Stay in the Game is all about: providing grassroots assistance to young people in local communities, and encouraging them to play basketball.
"It’s great that the One Team and Stay in the Game projects have made the refurbishment of this facility possible.”
This event marked the sixth such court refurbishment carried out since Euroleague Basketball and partner Dogus Group joined forces last season, with four courts in Athens and one in Berlin also being unveiled.
Both the One Team and Stay in the Game programs are committed to improving the lives of young people in need or at risk of exclusion, and helping them be a positive part of their communities.
And another celebrity attendee of Thursday’s opening ceremony in Madrid, two-time Euroleague champion and now Euroleague Basketball Legend Ramunas Siskauskas, emphasised the importance of giving back to the local community.
“We’ve had a lot of fun here today,” he said. “Everyone really enjoyed taking part in some One Team activities and an exhibition game, and that’s very important because basketball is meant to be fun.
“But the most important thing is that we have been able to provide a great facility which will make a real positive difference to the lives of many young people. That’s a responsibility which Euroleague Basketball understands and lives up to.”
One Team, 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.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team programme has reached already directly and indirectly 12,000 participants through its various team projects.
Stay in the Game emphasises pursuing positive goals and avoiding from negative influences, harmful habits and anti-social behaviour, through encouraging teens to play basketball or to take an interest in other sports.
Stay in the Game believes in the importance of sports participation as it allows teenagers to live a more active life, gain strength physically, to be more body-conscious and, eventually, become an independent and confident individual.