Trento uses basketball as a tool to improve lives

Jun 13, 2018 by Print
Trento uses basketball as a tool to improve lives

Dolomiti Energia Trento’s ‘One Team, One Staff’ program has come to an end for the summer after a successful three-month program which helped a group of young people face their challenges in life and look forward to a brighter future.

One Team is Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program which has seen all 40 clubs in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup organise a series of activities to address important social issues in their local communities.

Trento has worked with 18 young people from mixed backgrounds to share a variety of experiences, from playing together in basketball practices to working in PalaTrento during the team’s EuroCup home games.

The participants included high school students from the local Galilei and Rosmini high schools, people going through addiction recovery programs at the Trentino Solidarity Center, asylum seekers supported by local organisations ATAS and Centro Astalli, and boys and girls with disabilities.

Basketball allowed this diverse group to work together and overcome their differences, and one participant, Riccardo Boarini, said: “Being part of the One Team project has been a great experience. I’ve met many people from many different backgrounds, people I would likely have never had the chance to meet otherwise.

“Playing basketball was fun, I learned something new and it was really nice to be part of the Aquila Basket staff during the home games supporting our team. This is the magic of basketball.”

The program was led by One Team coach Nenad Jakovljevic, who focused primarily on team building exercises and strengthening personal relationships.

“My intention as One Team coach was to use some very simple basketball drills in order to create a friendly and healthy environment, encourage team spirit and to increase social sensibility and social inclusion,” he said.

“The starting question before every practice was not what they can do with basketball but how basketball could affect their quality of life. We used basketball as a tool and not as a goal. Our goal was not to help them to become better basketball players. Our main goal was to develop their inner values, self-confidence and social skills that they could transfer to other areas of life through positive values such as hard work, sportsmanship, team work, communication and so on.”

The team’s captain and One Team Ambassador Toto Forray was also a key member during the practices of ‘One Team, One Staff’, showing how team play and determination can help people to succeed in any field.

Massimo Komatz, Trento’s One Team Manager, underlined the importance of the role of One Team Ambassador and the innovativeness of the project, saying: “No man is an island, we are all part of society. That was the direction we followed in planning and managing this year’s activity.

“Toto Forray helped us and the people involved with his extraordinary example, great empathy and natural ability to communicate.”

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-focused projects.