J is a 14-year-old high school student who lives at a girls’ home, Female House, in Piraeus. Through local institution Exelixi Zois (Life Evolution), she has been attending One Team sessions with Olympiacos Piraeus and benefitting from a series of extra-curriculum activities including basketball coaching.
J is a well-organized and sensitive child who had a tough beginning in life, but remains positive, optimistic and willing to work hard for a better future. During her time with One Team, she has always completed her assigned projects, also caring for other people and particularly acting as a mother figure for her younger sister, who resides in the same girls’ home. She has shown resolve and character from the very first session and her love of basketball and commitment to hard work have allowed her to improve considerably as a player. She has now started to show greater ambition in the sport and expressed a desire to join a local basketball team.
J is one of the many girls to benefit from Olympiacos’s partnership with Exelixi Zois, an institution that was founded in March 2018 to provide expert support and care to adults, minors or adolescents who have spent time in closed child-protection institutions.
"The girls instantly realized the value of sports and from the very first time took to the weekly meetings and workouts with great enthusiasm," said Agios Alexandros from Elexixi Zois. "Appreciating the chance they were given, they immediately loved the game as well as their coaches and the facilities. The group of girls residing in the same institution saw this as a unique opportunity to form new bonds through their participation in a team and to use their time in a more constructive way.
"The program and its clear objectives have motivated the girls to work as a team and also to identify and work on their own individual weaknesses and strengths. They also appear to be enjoying the process and continue to get happier and healthier. Working with Olympiacos has been a pleasure for us and we are looking forward to continuing this collaboration in the future."
The last session of the program was staged last week after the club was able to keep providing sessions in an online format during confinement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Olympiacos’s One Team program is now enjoying a brief summer break before getting back to work next 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 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 22,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.