As part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program, Turkish club Tofas Bursa has teamed up with Medicana Bursa Hospital and SosyalBen Foundation to create a new project designed to block obesity with basketball.
A group of 14 participants aged eight to 13 and at risk of obesity have been selected from disadvantaged and remote districts of Bursa through local screenings conducted by project partner SosyalBen Foundation, a non-governmental organization that encourages children to discover and develop their abilities.
At the start of the project, which is being supported by a team of university student volunteers from the SosyalBen Foundation, the participants underwent full-scale medical screenings, height-weight reviews and blood tests at Medicana Bursa Hospital, the club's health care sponsor.
After those examinations, a health plan and a nutritional program was drawn up for each child. An instructional brief on obesity was also given to the participants and their families by Medicana Bursa Hospital, which conducts significant studies to raise the awareness of obesity and treatment options in Bursa.
A key part of the health plan is regular exercise, which are coming through basketball sessions with Tofas. The project's first practice took place at the Mustafa V. Koc Sports Facility on Saturday, December 21 under the supervision of Kartal Onel, the club's One Team Project Coordinator. The children, all of whom were setting their feet on the hardwood for the first time in their lives, thoroughly enjoyed the first practice, which focused on the theme of self-confidence.
The program is now continuing over the course of eight weeks, with each session following a different theme: determination, perseverance, motivation, self-respect, decisiveness, effort and reliability. Weight checks, diet monitoring and medical screenings will also continue throughout the project, which is being supported by Berkan Durmaz, Tofas's homegrown forward and One Team Ambassador.
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 19,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.