Last season saw Anadolu Efes Istanbul join forces with a new partner, Okyanus College, to develop its activities with One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program.
One of the most important school chains in Turkey, Okyanus College has been working hard to address modern-day social problems which leave many young people without personal skills such as communication, self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and good physical education habits.
Together, the club and the college ran an eight-week project for a group of 15 children aged between 11 and 14, running sessions under the guidance of Efes coaches specifically designed to help the participants to develop their self-confidence and physical fitness.
The club’s One Team Ambassador Birkan Batuk and talented young player Onuralp Bitim supported the program by participating in a special session, and the children were also given an occasion to remember by being invited to attend a home game in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
The success of One Team is shown in the example of one of the participants, Ata Yigit Poze.
Before the program began, Ata was an insecure child who did not play or talk with his friends, and at first he did not show interest in the One Team sessions.
But he was given enough support and encouragement to keep on attending all the sessions, and quickly started to gain self-confidence after especially enjoying activities aimed at developing confidence and communication.
Over the course of his eight weeks with One Team, Ata became a more sociable child and started to show great enthusiasm for the sessions, also starting to enjoy spending time with his friends and participating more in everyday social activities as well as classes at school.
One Team coach Senem Didar Karatepe said: “Ata was quiet and didn’t like taking responsibility. But after the training sessions I realised he gained self-confidence. His dialogue with his friends is different, he’s joking around. I think this is very important for him.”
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 16,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.