One Team participants showcase their improvement for Zalgiris ambassadors 0

Zalgiris ended the first semester of the EuroLeague Basketball One Team project with a challenge from its’ participants. The results of the three-month program were visible to the naked eye, as the teenagers posed real challenge for project ambassadors Thomas Walkup and Marius Grigonis.

Competing in four different challenges: agility, basketball, knowledge test and memory. After the twelve weeks of training, the youngsters came in knowing all their strengths, and that was a key element in defeating the Zalgiris players. I didn’t take long for Marius Grigonis to realize that he’ll be on the losing end of one of the challenges.

“Competing in the knowledge test, I quickly found out that a lot of time has passed since I finished school. The information I hadn’t used at all seem to just have vanished. You could clearly see that the kids weren’t wasting their time there – they’d answer before I could even open my mouth. I have no doubts that with a fire like that in their eyes, they will achieve anything they set out for themselves.”

The program’s youth would visit Zalgirio Arena every week throughout the entirety of the three months and learn something new each time. The main objective was multifaceted development through the game of basketball, as topics such as goal setting, teamwork, tolerance, control of emotions were touched, among other important values.

The participants of the One Team program no only had the chance to meet up with the ambassadors of the project, but learned some football tricks from the Kauno Zalgiris players and the basics of American football from the Kaunas Dukes. They tried out integrated basketball with handicapped athletes and dived into sports psychology with specialist Aiste Zemaityte.

Thomas Walkup admitted that the experience was very rewarding, and would the Zalgiris players smiling despite the constant losses to the kids.

“I had a great time with the kids. They’re energetic, active and fun children. Although Marius and I would keep on getting beaten, but the joy you’d see in their faces after they’ve scored a point would give us just as much happiness. I hope that this program helps them achieve hundreds more of victories in life.”

The kids revealed that they improved not only in sports – basketball, football or American football, but learned to speak up, interact with more ease, gained confidence and learned to work in a team. 71 percent of the participants said that the program helped them understand their near future goals.

Zalgiris was joined by Ramirent for the second year in a row to provide the children with a top-class, meaningful program, that helps them aim for higher goals in life.