Spanish club RETAbet Bilbao Basket marked its first ever season with One Team – Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program – by making a genuine contribution to improving the lives of disadvantaged local people.
The 7DAYS EuroCup side launched an ambitious partnership with Argia Fundazioa, a Bilbao-based organisation which works with people who suffer from severe mental disorders.
With the support of the team’s experienced forward Axel Hervelle, who attended several sessions in his role of the club’s One Team Ambassador, the club worked with a group of 15 participants between 30 and 40 years old.
Over the course of ten sessions at Bilbao Arena, the participants were led through a series of activities by professional coaches who focussed on team building skills to develop a sense of community within the group.
Although there was always an emphasis on having fun, the main objective of the programme was to increase the self-esteem, confidence and ambition of the participants, using basketball-related sessions to provide a sense of empowerment.
Belgian international Hervelle was impressed by the impact of the project, saying: “It was great to see how the participants responded to the opportunity to play basketball, and they really grew in confidence over the course of the programme.
“Everyone at Bilbao is committed to supporting our community and our first year with the One Team programme, which I know has been very successful all over Europe, was very positive.
“We are looking forward to working with One Team once again in the 2017/18 season!”
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.