Valencia Basket's One Team program has been a great example of how basketball can make a positive impact in local communities, using the sport to promote well-being and social inclusion.
The club has worked with the high school IES Peset Aleixandre de Paterna to create a program of 10 sessions taking place on Thursdays for a group of 16 young people between the ages of 13 and 17.
The participants were given the opportunity to live positive experiences and develop healthy habits of personal improvement that can be transferred to the school or work environments. This all comes through learning the basic concepts of basketball, underlining the values of sacrifice and responsibility inherent in a team sport.
One of the participants, Esther, explained why the sessions – and all aspects of basketball – have made such a difference to her life:
"For me, it is special because I can get away and leave my neighborhood," Esther said. "If you like playing, you can keep doing it, and not only on Thursdays. What I like most is being at the scoring table, where I can help take note of fouls and points."
Elies Vercher, a teacher at the school, also known by La Coma for the neighborhood in which it's located, has been impressed with the impact of the program, saying: "It's very positive for them. This is still hard for some students, but there are others in whom the change is spectacular. You can see the difference in how they work at school to how they work here."
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.