For Special Olympics Slovenia athletes Thursday, December 1st was a special day. Falling within 2011 European Basketball Week, a ten state basketball tournament was organised in the Franc Rozman Stane Sports Complex in Ljubljana to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Institute of Janez. This day long event was followed by an evening at the Euroleague 2011-12 season game between BC Union Olimpija and Montepeschi Siena.
This year’s Slovenian European Basketball Week tournament recorded the highest participation rate to date. A record number of teams from schools with special programs, conservations work centres and Slovenia institutes who care for persons with disabilities attended the event. 16 teams took part in the event which was divided into four different levels according to athlete ability.
The tournament began with a gala opening including a performance by celebrated singer Vozelj Marko. Director of the Institute of Janez Levc, Mr. Mateji Rovsek warmly welcomed the athletes adding; “I am very happy to be here today to witness such great sportsmanship, passion and enthusiasm for basketball and I want to thank you all for dedicating today to the 100th anniversary of our institute”.
General Secretary of the European Basketball Championship 2013, Alenka Skreblin, President of Association Sozitje, Mrs. Katja Vadnal, Boirs Majer and Niko Slana from Youth Sport Magazine all attended the event to wish the athletes good luck. The event was officially opened by Special Olympics Slovenia President, Mr. Ljubomir Milicevic who said; “Each year the European Basketball Week gets better and better and I am delighted to say that this year been the biggest to date. Let us all keep working together to promote and expand opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities in basketball and let’s make next years European Basketball Week even bigger”.
The day of basketball competition was aptly finished off with an evening at Stozice Hall to attend the Euroleague game between BC Union Olimpija and Montepeschi Siena. Before athletes could settle into their seats to watch the game they made a pre game guest appearance on court with the Euroleague players. To cheers, the athletes entered the court carrying a Special Olympics flag. Duties done the athletes settled into their seats to enjoy the game.