The 11th edition of the One Team Annual Workshop took place this week, bringing together clubs from the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup to discuss the best ways they can support vulnerable members of their local communities.
A series of sessions were held online which allowed club representatives to learn ideas for best practices from each other and an outstanding selection of external speakers, discussing challenges and getting inspired as they prepare for the new season, which will mark the 10th anniversary of One Team.
Roser Queralto, Euroleague Basketball Chief Business Development Officer, said: "This year's workshop took place against the backdrop of the global pandemic and we were able to celebrate how our clubs maneuvered the storm, reflecting on what we learned and discussing what we can take forward into hopefully more positive times. Euroleague Basketball is incredibly proud of the clubs who were able to adapt their One Team programs, with all clubs working together towards the common goal of supporting our communities."
This year's workshop saw a specific focus on promoting health and wellbeing, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3. One Team plays a vital role in this aim by providing participants with regular access to physical activity and emotional support through its methodology and through Euroleague Basketball partners such as BKT, which has donated bicycles to all One Team programs.
Several clubs played an active role in the workshop as their One Team Coaches and Managers shared their experiences with the program. The speakers were: Marilisa Zanini and Michele Samaden (AX Armani Exchange Milan); Penny Giovanovits (Olympiacos Piraeus); Dorleta de la Presa (Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz); Manon Fontaine (Minicidelice JL Bourg en Bresse); Julia Ivakina (Zenit St Petersburg); Akvile Dagilyte (Zalgiris Kaunas) and Igor Ryabinin (ALBA Berlin).
The external speakers who offered valuable insights were: Radha Balani (Think Beyond); Kiera Byland Bem (Special Olympics); Dr. Sergio Lara-Bercial (Leeds Beckett University); Lauren Werry (Think Beyond); Fiona Murray (Special Olympics); Graham Herstell (StreetGames); Francis Hargreaves (LFC Foundation); Batouly Camara (Women and Kids Empowerment) and Megan Bartlett (Center for Healing and Justice Through Sport).
Batouly Camara's inspirational session was delivered to the EuroLeague players who met in Barcelona on Wednesday. She emphasized the importance of the mentoring role that players can perform with young people, saying:
"Sports can help you gain transferable life skills. I had mentors that vouched for me early on. So, once the opportunity came it felt like paying it forward by being what I needed to become."
Igor Ryabinin, Head of Sustainability and Social Affairs at ALBA Berlin, explained how the One Team philosophy can also have a wider positive environmental impact in the future, saying:
"It is very important that clubs' top management embrace sustainability as a way of doing business. Then, the unity that clubs have to deliver One Team can definitively be a reference for the clubs to work together to make a relevant environmental impact as well."