Euroleague unites with Special Olympics

Oct 14, 2009 by Print
Partnership will promote greater opportunities in basketball for athletes with intellectual disabilities

Special Olympics and Euroleague Basketball

Euroleague Basketball and Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia are delighted to announce a new partnership agreement that will promote greater opportunities in basketball for people with intellectual disabilities during the 2009-10 Euroleague season.

The agreement was announced today during the pre-game press conference of the Euroleague Basketball Opening Game between Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and Union Olimpija Ljubljana in Israel.

As the world's largest year-round sports training programme for people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics is aiming to increase the number of basketball players in Europe and Central Asia from 53,000 to 56,000 in 2010 as well as to recruit 300 new volunteer coaches.

Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO - Kai Troll, Special OlympicsSeveral initiatives will be developed between the two organisations during the 2009-10 season, starting with two specially dedicated competition dates, on November 11-12 and November 25-26, during which Euroleague Basketball clubs, players, coaches and referees will actively join the "Special Olympics" campaign. From November 28 to December 6 Special Olympics will celebrate the 2009 European Basketball Week in which Euroleague will be present. "Special Olympics" will also be present through a series of special events at Euroleague Basketball's signature event, the Final Four, in Paris from May 7 to 9, 2010.

"We are very proud to sign an agreement to collaborate and to offer our platform to raise awareness and support for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO, stated. "The partnership forms part of our Euroleague for Life programme with the principal goal of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of basketball."

"Through their enthusiasm and commitment to Special Olympics, Euroleague have shown that they are committed to promoting basketball for everyone while breaking down stereotypes about intellectual disabilities in the process," Mary Davis, Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, said. "We are very excited about the new opportunities that this collaboration will open and the growing momentum for basketball in our movement."