Ahead of the annual One Team Awards, which will be presented during the program's annual workshop in mid-September, we are telling a short success story about each of the six shortlisted clubs. Here is a tale from Zalgiris Kaunas.
Ruta has always been passionate about sports – especially going for walks and playing table tennis and basketball. However, her lack of confidence and anxiety in social situations meant that she was generally forced to enjoy these activities alone.
At the start of the Zalgiris One Team sessions, those difficulties kept Ruta from engaging with any of her teammates. She avoided social interaction and was anxious when people communicated with her.
The club's One Team coaches recognized how her anxiety and lack of communication were preventing her from progressing in the sport and as an individual. Therefore, the coaches encouraged her to get involved in the games, socialize with her teammates, and become courageous. She gradually began to develop her resilience, not shying away from a challenge or failure in a drill, and started to engage with her teammates.
Ruta now dreams of becoming a professional basketball player and representing Lithuania. Thanks to One Team, these dreams may become a reality. Even more important, she is now a self-confident young girl with the ability to start conversations and make new friends, meeting new people with an open heart and a wide smile.
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 real social impact in our communities.
With an innovative model of interconnectedness across an entire continent, Euroleague Basketball and its clubs have developed a complete CSR program that brings together activities from each team in an integrated, impactful way, working under the theme of ‘community integration' that actively addresses targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 on Reduced Inequalities.