|The European Basketball Week has been a wonderful experience for all participants in the past, and the 2012 edition promises to be just as great|
In partnership with FIBA Europe, Euroleague Basketball and One Team, the European basketball community is once again throwing its support behind the annual Special Olympics European Basketball Week which will run from 24 November until 02 December.
Over the course of the week, 17,500 basketball players, both with and without disabilities, in 32 participating European countries, are expected to take part in organised basketball games, with the aim of encouraging all those involved in basketball across Europe to create and expand opportunities for players with intellectual disabilities.
Finishing a day shy of the International Day of People with Disabilities on December 3, the success of Basketball Week depends on the European Basketball community encouraging maximum participation by Special Olympics athletes, coaches, spectators and families at the 200-plus games that will take place over the course of the seven days.
Selected Euroleague games during the week will also be dedicated to Basketball Week.
Currently worldwide, there are 55,226 registered basketball players within the Special Olympics movement, making it one of the most popular sports governed by the organisation. Organisers of Basketball Week hope that their efforts will help see this number reach 60,000 during 2013.
The 2012 edition of Basketball Week is the ninth time that FIBA Europe has leant their support to the programme.
"FIBA Europe continues its endorsement of the Special Olympics European Basketball Week because sport plays an important role in society and touches many people in a highly positive and participatory way," said FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, adding, "Special Olympics use sport as a catalyst to transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and to promote respect, acceptance and inclusion. Let's make European Basketball Week 2012 the biggest and most inclusive yet so that more players with intellectual disabilities get an opportunity to take part."
More information about the week-long activities can be found at www.specialolympics.org.