Legends Meneghin, Galli head One Milan opening session Tuesday
The One Milan legacy project that unites four clubs from three sports to help struggling groups in this spring’s Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four host city took flight Tuesday with its first training session, which was held at AC Milan’s Centro Sportivo Vismara and featured sporting legends Dino Meneghin and Filippo Galli.
One Milan is a breakthrough collaboration between Euroleague Basketball and the Comune di Milano plus the local clubs – EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, FC Internazionale Milano, Fondazione Milan and CUS Milano Rugby.
More than 50 guests, from the social responsibility programs of each of the four clubs, took part in Tuesday’s session, which included activities and drills designed to improve the social and life skills of people who live under social exclusion.
Special Olympics, Proud Partner of One Team bas also been present in the initiative being represented by Elisa Trombetta, a Special Olympics basketball athlete from the city of Milan.
“It’s great to be a part of the One Milan event today, and I hope that this program will grow and be an important opportunity for everyone,” said Meneghin, who won two of his record seven Euroleague titles with Milan. “The Final Four in our city will be beautiful.”
The session was a preview of the several One Milan activities to be held in the capital of Lombardy on the way to the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, coming to Milan from May 16 to 18. During that weekend, One Milan and the four clubs will play a central role in bringing attention to underprivileged groups during several days of activities at the Fan Zone in the city’s famed Piazza Duomo.
“That was the first step working together with the other clubs,” Paolo Monguzzi of the EA7 Emporio Armani Milan organization said. “We are a proud member of One Team for two years now, and I think it’s beautiful to cooperate with the other sports organizations of our city in order to work more on social programs and share our experiences in different sports. We held a workshop in our headquarters to tell everybody about the methodology of One Team, then AC Milan hosted this training session and we’re moving forward to the next one at CUS Rugby, before the great event in the Fan Zone during Final Four week.”
The activities on Tuesday very fun for all the participants, as the coaches from the clubs involved applied their workout skills to a mix not only of three different disciplines, but also of participants with different ages and abilities, in order to make everybody’s experience enjoyable.
“Our goal was to make the girls and boys understand how our clubs are working and how important the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four will be, even if they are not following basketball on a regular basis,” says Giorgio Spadola, one of the AC Milan trainers on the pitch Tuesday. “I hope all clubs can make even more efforts to make their communities stronger and improve the quality of life in our cities.”
Filippo Galli, a three-time Champions League winner with AC Milan who is now in charge of the club’s youth department, said that bringing several sports together adds solidarity to One Milan’s efforts.
“I believe that kind of events should be run even more often, and I think it’s wonderful to work with the other sports clubs in the city,” Galli said. “As a football man, I truly believe that the media should pay attention to how our colleagues are working, developing great sports programs. Girls and boys of all ages need to have a choice on what sport they want to play. I hope that the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four will be a great opportunity for our community.”
Matteo, one of the young participants that were brought to the event by EA7 Emporio Armani’s social program, who works with a group of youths from a rehabilitation centre, was very appreciative of what is being done by One Milan.
“It’s great to be here,” he said. “You learn more about how to take care of yourself, how to get together with other people and how to enjoy your life at its best. I’m really thankful to our basketball club for all the great work they are doing with us and for the opportunity that they are giving us to know people and sports legends. I can’t wait for the Final Four to happen and to go the Mediolanum Forum to enjoy it!