Two newly-refurbished basketball courts opened in Istanbul on Thursday thanks to a joint project between One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program, and its partner BKT.
The indoor and outdoor courts are located at the public TEB Atasehir Anatolian High School, the partner of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul's One Team program.
The court opening was attended by institutional representatives of Euroleague Basketball, BKT and Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, including star players and One Team Ambassadors Pierria Henry and Ismet Akpinar, who joined Thursday morning's court opening to help run a special activity with a group of 15 teenage students from the school as they enjoyed their new facility.
Abigail Martin, Euroleague Basketball's Director of Sustainability and Development Projects, was also in attendance, and she said: "It is a great honor to be here inaugurating these amazing courts we have refurbished thanks to our partnership with BKT and our social program One Team, supported by Turkish Airlines, and represented on this occasion by our club Fenerbahce Istanbul and its One Team work. These courts will make a positive change to the daily lives of students from TEB Atasehir Anatolian High School and are another great way to keep on celebrating the tenth anniversary of One Team."
BKT's Managing Director Lucia Salmaso said: "We at BKT are extremely glad to contribute to the growth of love for sport. We are proud that our support makes the gym of TEB Atasehir Anatolian High School finally accessible and new, so that students can find the special welcome that only sport can give offer. BKT wants to go beyond the role of sponsor – the real goal is to leave a mark, to help communities around the world to grow through sport. We want to take concrete actions and contribute to projects like this, that allow everyone to experience sport better, by means of inclusion and sharing."
Fenerbahce is delivering its One Team program to teenagers from low-income families who study at the school, using lessons from the basketball court to improve life skills such as motivation, decision-making, teamwork and effort. The club is also developing special content for future sessions related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 (on gender equality) and 13 (on climate action).
One Team Ambassador Akpinar said: "It was great to see the kids enjoying themselves and I'm really happy that my club has been able to work with One Team and BKT to give the students more access to basketball facilities. Playing sports regularly to stay fit mentally and physically is such an important part of growing up, and I look forward to coming back to the courts for more One Team sessions in the future."
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).
For more than 30 years, Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT) has successfully focused on specialized segments such as agriculture, construction and industrial, as well as earthmoving, port and mining, ATV and landscaping operations. BKT as a company has managed to focus its attention on people and the planet ahead of business and profit, and moves naturally within certain so-called virtuous business parameters. Every year the company organises a large number of vastly different international social initiatives and supports the most vulnerable, such as children, and fundraising activities for countries hit by deforestation or by weather-related events.
BKT also aims to put people and their wellbeing at the center through numerous sport sponsorships and related activations worldwide. BKT shares the One Team ideology and loves sport because it fully reflects its corporate philosophy: fair play, teamwork, respect, commitment and the importance of sharing. Sport is a powerful tool to act as a vehicle for positive and constructive values, and a global language of emotions, allowing a whole community to grow.