The theme for 2012 was “Basketball for Everyone” as European Basketball Week is about creating opportunities and promoting widespread participation of players with and without intellectual disabilities at all ability levels through Unified Basketball®. The week also marked International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3rd 2012.
Over 220 local and regional events took place across European cities and towns and more than 20 national tournaments. Clinics with professional players, coaches and referees were also key events of the week. As part of the partnership between Special Olympics and Euroleague Basketball initiated in 2009 and newly supported by its One Team Program, Euroleague matches on November 29th and 30th and December 6th and 7th are dedicated to Special Olympics.
“FIBA Europe continues its endorsement of Special Olympics Basketball Week because sport plays an important role in society and touches many people in a highly positive and participatory way. Special Olympics use sport as a catalyst to transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and to promote respect, acceptance and inclusion. I hope European Basketball Week 2012 is the biggest and most inclusive yet so that more players with intellectual disabilities get an opportunity to take part." Olafur Rafnsson, President FIBA Europe
“Basketball Week is possible through the generosity of FIBA Europe, Euroleague Basketball and its One Team Program. It is a hugely important week in the Special Olympics calendar with basketball being one of the most popular sports among our athletes. Because of its mass appeal basketball brings those with and without intellectual disabilities together, breaking down barriers, changing attitudes and opening minds to the gifts and talents of people with intellectual disabilities. Basketball has the power to transform lives.”- Mary Davis, Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization changing lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement provides year round sports training and athletic competition to 4 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics events take place daily, allowing people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. www.specialolympics.org