European Basketball Week Provides Opportunities

Thanks to FIBA Europe and Euroleague Basketball the 2012 European Basketball Week was a slam dunk of a success across Europe Eurasia

Basketball Breaks Down Barriers

2012 European Basketball Events across Region

Special Olympics Europe Eurasia once again saw the European Basketball community throwing its full support behind the ninth annual Special Olympics European Basketball Week which has just finished across the Region. Taking place from November 24th to December 2nd 2012 the week saw more opportunities provided for players with intellectual disabilities.

The aim of this week as always, is to promote and expand opportunities for adults and children with intellectual disabilities through basketball, while breaking down barriers to inclusion and acceptance.

European Basketball Week is possible through the support of FIBA Europe, Euroleague Basketball and its One Team Program, National Basketball Federations and clubs across Europe. 2012 Basketball Week involved 17,500 athletes, 5,000 volunteers and families in 32 European countries. The Week is one of the highlights of the year-round event calendar and is part of Special Olympics’ on-going commitment to increase the number of registered basketball players in Europe to 60,000 and 600 additional volunteer coaches by the end of 2013.

Basketball for Everyone

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.