Grigonis and Walkup inspire youth through One Team 0

At the boiling point of the season, Zalgiris continues to work hard both on and off the court, carrying on with their part in EuroLeague Basketball’s One Team program. Project ambassadors Marius Grigonis and Thomas Walkup had spent the afternoon in a session with the second group of kids in this season’s project, and shared their life experiences, encouraging the youth to aim for their goals.

Thomas Walkup was excited to be a part of the project, being able to help the kids to find a suitable role model and put them in a positive environment.

“Today was awesome. We sat around the circle, we shared experiences from our past – good things, bad things. Then we talked about the importance of positive influences, just stuff that young kids could really take advantage of. Stuff, people like me and Marius, were lucky enough to have when we were younger. We talked about our goals, all sorts of things for a positive future for these kids. The EuroLeague Basketball is doing an awesome job with this sort of stuff, to help these kids, put them in a positive situation and help them look up to the right sort of people. I’m just glad I could be a part of it, for sure.”

This year’s One Team partner is the Psychological Support and Counselling Center, that provides professional help to different kinds of people, from teenagers to family consulting. The Kaunas Regional Probation Service youth also joined the project in this second semester.

The program holds 12 weekly sessions with each group, where the youth’s values and skills are developed through the game of basketball. Kids not only get to meet and greet with Zalgiris basketball players, but also try their hand and have meetings with representatives from football, rugby and integrated basketball. Sports psychologist Aiste Zemaityte also brings in a different view on sports to the activities.

Sarunas Klizas, a project coordinator from the Psychological Support and Counselling Center, noted the importance of the One Team project and stressed the impact it has on those young people.

“Perhaps the most important thing in this project is to show kids that they’re capable. They’re capable of being a part of a team, capable of reaching for goals together, despite being of a different age, different education, height, gender. And despite all that, still fit so well as a team. These things are very important and help in the everyday life. That’s what sport is all about, it always educates you.”

For the second year running, Ramirent continues to join efforts and make the project as meaningful as possible for the kids, seeking to push them to aim higher and achieve better results for the program as a whole.