The shortlist has been announced for the 2020-21 One Team Program Awards, which recognize the efforts made by Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup clubs to support vulnerable people all over the continent.
Seven clubs from the EuroLeague and EuroCup have been highlighted for outstanding work in their local communities over the last 12 months, and are now contenders for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards to be announced during the One Team Annual Workshop in September.
One Team, supported by Turkish Airlines as founding partner and with the collaboration of Special Olympics as a proud partner, uses basketball to achieve meaningful social impact and is supported by every club in the EuroLeague and EuroCup with regular activities, many of which took place online this season due to social restrictions during the pandemic.
Roser Queralto, Euroleague Basketball Chief Business Officer, said: "We are so proud of what our clubs accomplished during the complex 2020-21 season. Our clubs were able to stay connected with those most in need in many different and innovative ways, adjusting to a constantly changing situation and continuing to use basketball to make a positive impact in their communities. Congratulations to everyone involved for doing such amazing work with One Team and especially to the seven clubs shortlisted for the 2020-21 One Team Program Awards."
With the involvement of consultancy ThinkBeyond, the clubs' programs were assessed on several criteria including program planning and delivery, ambassadors' involvement, marketing and communications activities, and the participation of commercial partners.
The nominated teams, their local social partners and their achievements highlighted during the assessment are:
AX Armani Exchange Milan, in partnership with Fondazione Laureus Sport for Good Italia Onlus, for community cohesion. A well-thought-out program with a two-phased approach. One of the best examples of sport genuinely achieving social change. Great adaptation to COVID challenges, getting on the court whenever possible and continuing online when not.
JL Bourg en Bresse, in partnership with AFIS Association, for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Good all-round adherence to the criteria and great involvement of the One Team Ambassador and sponsors.
Olympiacos Piraeus, in partnership with EXELIXI ZOIS, Special Elementary School of Piraeus & Eeeek Anoixis Piraeus, for community cohesion and children with disabilities. Impressive delivery of two very good programs, outstanding communications and is consistency in looking to build on past programs.
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, in partnership with Gizarterako, for community cohesion. Regular and ongoing activity with a long-term impact on the participants' families with the assistance of the coaches and social workers. Great integration of partners.
Unicaja Malaga, in partnership with Down Malaga, for people with disabilities. Good communication, monitoring and evaluation throughout the season, and fantastic ambassador involvement despite COVID difficulties.
Zalgiris Kaunas, in partnership with Special Olympics Lithuania, for people with disabilities. Creative plan with drills adjusted to COVID limitations. Good monitoring and evaluation, clearly demonstrating what they do and the difference they make.
Zenit St Petersburg, in partnership with Contact, for community cohesion. Good use of a coach alongside a psychologist to support a challenging group, and nice to see some participants become volunteers for the club after the program.