As part of EuroLeague Basketball’s One Team social responsibility program, throughout last season Olympiacos Piraeus worked closely with local care center Horizons, which supports children and adults with special needs.
One of the participants in the 20-week program is Stelios, a boy who suffers from the rare Prader-Willi Syndrome, which means he is overweight, struggles to express himself and regularly inflicts injuries upon himself.
Using the power of basketball to deliver important life lessons, One Team has allowed Stelios to set new personal challenges and targets, as well as learning valuable social skills.
After attending every weekly One Team session, Stelios has made some fantastic improvements to his social and personal habits, becoming much better at communicating with others, losing weight through regular enthusiastic participation in sport, and even reducing his self-inflicted injuries.
Thanks to his involvement in the program, he has become a much more optimistic person and made his family life happier, more comfortable and more connected, providing a shining example to other young people who suffer from severe disabilities.
Ismini Moulou, a care worker from the Horizons Center, has been delighted with results of the partnership with Olympiacos and One Team, which have been strongly supported by the club’s One Team Ambassadors Kostas Papanikolaou and Ioannis Papapetrou.
“There have been multiple benefits from the program,” reported Moulou. “The sessions have been effective in many different dimensions which directly impact the mental, emotional and social progress of the 17 disabled participants.
“They have learned to share the joy of working in a team, the true values of sport, the patience and the strength to control their negative emotions, to set higher goals, and to build their self-esteem. The contribution of the Olympiacos coaches and players is valuable and decisive, and our cooperation with them has been excellent.
“The participants have gained a lot of joy from the One Team program and they are proud to have been taught by the club’s professional coaches. Thank you for the opportunities you have given to them.”
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 16,000 participants through its various team-focussed projects.