Baskonia creates a pioneering project in basketball with the aim of forming teams that improve the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Saski Baskonia takes a further step in the pursuit of inclusion in sport with the creation of the Mixed Ability team. Baskonia, who has been developing the Baskonia4Life project at the Aldabe Civic Center since 2014 with a group of people with disabilities, is firmly committed to opening a space for coexistence between people with and without disabilities in sport to achieve a more fair and egalitarian society.
This project under the name of Baskonia Mixed Ability aims to radically change the way we think, participate and enjoy sport, leading to a better society. With this project, Baskonia is looking to promote awareness and the practice of sport for people with and without disabilities.
Baskonia Mixed Ability is taking its first steps with the creation of a training group, from which a female and a male team will come out, including people with some type of disability and others without it. The ultimate goal of the club is to ensure that these teams are able to compete against senior teams that already compete in the official leagues of the Araba Basketball Federation.
For this, Baskonia has included people without disabilities, who want to be part of this inclusive Project and who serve as “support” in training for players with disabilities. The main task of the “supports” is to improve the quality of the people who are being helped both on and off the court. With this approach, all members will be able to enjoy themselves in all areas and encourage all individuals to be able to self-manage.
SINCE 2014 WORKING FOR INCLUSION IN SPORTS
Baskonia has been working together with the Araba Down Foundation – Isabel Orbe since 2014 to improve the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome through basketball. The first seasons required intense work since most players were complete beginners. Over the years, the group led by Nuria Zapatero has grown and evolved until they got to play a tournament in Bilbao last June against other teams with intellectual disabilities.
During the last year, the managers of the project detected a notable improvement in the group, in addition to a greater concern for competition and basketball, which was the reason to continue with the project. The club was aware of the existence of similar projects in different sports and contacted David Izquierdo, educator and coordinator of IMAS Spain, who was the contact person with the organization.