The pandemic is still keeping us physically apart, but Olympiacos Piraeus forward Sasha Vezenkov has used technology to virtually meet up again with the club's One Team participants.
Vezenkov, the One Team Ambassador for Olympiacos, took on the role of a coach in a session dedicated to communication. By using drills for touch, hearing, vision-observation and mini-ball handling, the young athletes exercised, had fun, danced and understood the importance of communication in our daily lives.
The meeting ended with a common wish: that everybody can soon return to our normal lives and hold the next One Team sessions on court rather than on screen!
Vezenkov said to the group: "I know how much you like One Team. The most important thing is to respect each other, listen to the people around us, our teachers, coaches and parents. Listen to their advice. We have to respect people older than us. We must enjoy what we do, laugh and live each moment of life in peace, with a big smile. Hug people, have a kind word for people, and mean it, love each other. I hope to see you really soon because I have missed you. I know this kind of communication is not our favorite, but I hope that really soon I will be there with you, or you will be here with me, to play, laugh, hug and continue to educate ourselves."
Olympiacos is carrying out its One Team program with two different groups, starting with children with disabilities from the EEEEK Anoixis Piraeus School and the 1st Special Elementary School of Pireaus, most of whose pupils are from low-income families. The program aims to help teenagers overcome problems with social inclusion and make them feel safe. The 25 young people, aged 8 to 17, are taught different life skills such as communication, personal responsibility, and the value of effort.
The club's second program is developed together 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. A group of 13 female participants aged 13 to 18 will learn different life skills, focusing on team bonding and team building through specially designed basketball drills in a positive and safe environment.
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.