After two years of working jointly with its partner Children’s Fund Anastasia, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar continued looking for more challenges this season.
Children’s Fund Anastasia is a charity organization based in Krasnodar. The fund helps families with children who have disabilities or serious illness by raising money for their treatment, resolving their everyday problems, organizing public events and delivering lessons aiming to develop their social skills.
This year the target group of Lokomotiv Kuban’s project, which was supported by player Vladimir Ivlev and General Manager Alexey Savrasenko, was a group of young participants from the inclusive dance studio Ryzhiy Dance. The studio was founded by famous Russian dancer Evgeny Smirnov, who lost his leg in a tragic car accident but still didn’t lose his passion.
Now Evgeny teaches children with disabilities in Krasnodar how to dance, and he said: “This is a new and fun thing for the kids. We achieved what we wanted and performed. When the kids started to dance, it was cool. Good music, good mix of everything. That’s high level performance!”
The group involved 15 children aged 7-11 with mental and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Down Syndrome, and One Team ambassador Savresenko said: “Everyone at Lokomotiv strong believes that making a contribution to our local community with the implementation of a social program is a civic duty.
“Helping children with disabilities enjoy increased social integration offers a genuine chance for people to change what is within their power, and we have done some great work to help this group of young people who face difficulties in communication with the world around them.”
Lokomotiv Kuban’s program consisted of 10 sessions and aimed to develop the participants’ skills at three different levels: physiological, psychological and social. The main goal was to develop the participants’ emotional and mental resolve, and their solidarity with others.
The weekly two-hour sessions consisted of life skills teaching through basketball and dance. Each of the sessions was dedicated to a social skill or topic, which was covered through specific basketball practices.
With the project’s conclusion, the club organized a special closing event at Basket Hall to celebrate the successful completion of their One Team program and award the young participants for their progress by giving them the opportunity to become part of the club’s cheerleading team support during their last game of the season.
And Savresenko concluded: “It was great to see the group enjoying themselves inside the arena, and I’m sure they were happy to have such an exciting end to the program. We hope their memories from the day will last forever.”
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 program has reached already directly and indirectly 14,000 participants through its various team projects.