Over the last two years Olympiacos Piraeus and students at the Piraeus School for Kids with Special Needs have developed a great relationship thanks to their work together through One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program.
And the participants have now headed into the summer holidays on a high note after completing the final session of another successful season of collaboration.
Children between the ages of 13 and 22 attend the public school, where they follow a schedule which allows them to learn important vocational skills such as plumbing, carpentry, gardening, ceramics and cooking.
The main aim of the school is for all graduates to learn at least one set of skills which will help them in their future lives as adults, with the objective of allowing the participants to feel equal to their peers in society regardless of their disability.
Over the last two years, Olympiacos has worked mainly on the socialization process of the children, organising sessions on court which develop different life skills.
There were also various activities outside basketball such as Olympiacos museum visits, attending cheerleading practice sessions, and meet and greet sessions including spending time with current players Kostas Papanikolaou and Ioannis Papapetrou, who served as One Team Ambassadors throughout the season.
The last session of the season saw the students split into two groups and execute a series of basketball exercises including drills working on life skills such as teamwork, confidence and decision-making.
After these activities, the children were greeted by Olympiacos coach Andreas Gatzoulis and club legend Argyris Kampouris, who happily awarded a trophy and a diploma to each student.
At the end of the session there were plenty of mixed emotions as the children left the court: happiness for having the opportunity to participate in the One Team program, and sadness because some of them will not continue next season after completing their studies.
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 meaningful social impact in our communities across Europe.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already helped more than 14,000 participants through its various team-focussed projects.