Olympiacos Piraeus has tipped off a new season of activities with One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program, by holding the latest in a series of exciting practice sessions at the auxiliary gym of the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Guests from The Horizon, a local center for the education of children with special needs, were invited to spend time inside the team’s practice facility, as well as being given a behind the scenes tour including a look inside the locker room used by Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis and Co. on gamedays.
And there was an extra surprise for the participants while the practice was underway, with the arrival of star players Kostas Papanikolaou and Ioannis Papapetrou, whose unexpected introduction to the court sparked great excitement and happiness among the children.
The two players, who are both One Team Ambassadors for Olympiacos, joined the session to deliver coaching tips. They also spent time just talking to the children, taking photographs and finally joining them for a game on court, providing extra motivation for the children to give their best as they played alongside two of their heroes.
“The most important thing is that we have a good time with the kids.” Papanikolaou said. “We experienced some very happy and relaxing moments.”
“We contribute to our local society by following this initiative with Euroleague, and we are very happy to be a part of it. It fills you with emotion every time you come to the gym and see the kids smiling like that, having a great time when we play and learn things all together.”
On his part, Papapetrou added: “I’m definitely very happy that we get the chance to help kids. We are happy because they are happy.”
“We have a great time with them. It makes us happy seeing them smiling and having a good time. This is the most important thing of all. It doesn’t matter who wins. Just like the motto…we are all One Team! We have a good time together, we play together and a lot more is ahead.”
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 and is supported by every club in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already helped more than 14,000 participants through its various team-focussed projects.