It was a very special moment when the Unified basketball team Mina Basket from Berlin entered the main court of the Mercedes-Benz Arena. The European Basketball Championships provided the perfect setting to draw attention to inclusion and the upcoming World Games.
Last weekend, we were guests at the EuroBasket 2022 in Berlin. Even before the first game, many people were already walking around in the Fan Zone in front of the arena, where we welcomed many interested fans at our information booth.
It was especially nice to see how many visitors showed interest in being a volunteer at the Special Olympics World Games and becoming part of this unique event. More information about the volunteer program can be found here.
On Sunday, a very special highlight was on the agenda: the Unified basketball team Mina Basket impressively demonstrated how much fun inclusive sports can be. Unified Sports® is inclusive sports of people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Also thanks to the efforts of Special Olympics Germany, the team from Berlin district Neukölln were not only allowed to show their skills on the 3x3 court in the heart of the fan zone in front of the arena, but also during halftime of the round of Last 16 match Poland - Ukraine on the main court in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
What an experience! While commentator Kwadjo Wiafe-Akenten was catching up with the spectators on Special Olympics, Unified Sports® and the World Games, the athletes were demonstrating their skills on the court. And the audience appreciated every basket with loud applause.
When the professionals returned to the court from their break, there was still time for a group photo under the basket. The proud faces showed that it was an all-around successful and unforgettable performance for all involved.
By the way: Unified basketball is also on the program at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. The competitions in 5 vs. 5 will take place on the grounds of Messe Berlin and the 3x3 games will be played in the heart of the city directly at Alexanderplatz.
Just like the Mina Basket team, all international participants are looking forward to loud support from the sports-loving Berlin public next year.