By Amy Samin
The ONE TEAM Project, devised by the Euroleague management, is an innovative program that seeks to provide real social influence in our communities through sportsmanship and its positive attributes.
Maccabi’s participation will be in partnership with Shanti House, which first opened its doors to youth in 1984 and which serves as a temporary home as well as a long-term framework for runaway and street youth ages 14 – 21, regardless of religion, race, or gender. Shanti House takes in youth who are in immediate danger or who are on the brink of becoming victims of physical violence, sexual abuse, crime, prostitution and the like.
We hope to provide tools for our chosen community as they struggle with the problems they face in their everyday lives through basketball practices, values from the sports world, and a connection with the fans and the team, thereby providing real social impact. It is not a simple thing to involve these youth in sports activities, but we feel confident that lessons in life skills taught through basketball will improve the current and future situations of these youth.
The 2 – 3 hour long get-togethers will occur every week. In them we will focus on inter-personal communication, working in groups, and strengthening self-confidence through exercises and supervised activity, while ensuring that the participants understand the goals of the meeting. In the framework of the project, the youth from Shanti House will meet with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s players and professional staff. These get-togethers, along with the personal attention the youth from Shanti House will receive, will instill in them a sense of belonging and will inspire them.
Project ONE TEAM has the power to transmit positive values. All of the Euroleague teams participating in this project come together to form a marvelous force for change. This project is unprecedented in Europe; even on an international level there is no precedent for a positive initiative in which the various clubs put all of their hopes together.