to Belgium, Poland, Russia and Serbia who topped their divisions at the 2013
Special Olympics European Basketball tournament which concluded in Istanbul,
Turkey on June 23rd.
From June 20th to 22nd 15 teams battled it out
at Yakacik Sports Complex. Each team played five short observation matches
which were for the first time ever at European level, observed by GOC and
external experts against the Swiss Ladder System. As a result four division
groups were created and teams continued the tournament in their ability level
After two or three strongly competitive matches within
their ability groups, the winners of the four divisions were decided: Belgium,
Poland, Russian and Serbia.
"This Istanbul tournament has brought
Special Olympics basketball competitions to a new level of professionalism in
Europe. It's great to see, that all teams have coaches with basketball
experience and also understand the spirit of Special Olympics. This helps to
run a successful tournament, where we can enjoy the beauty of basketball at
all levels. The atmosphere was fantastic and there were lots of inspiring
moments on the court" said Micheal Newton, SOEE Basketball Advisor and
Off the court each athlete received a free
health screening at the Healthy Athletes Program offered at Yakacik
The European Basketball tournament took place alongside
the Special Olympics European Unified Volleyball Tournament in Istanbul and so
brought hundreds of Special Olympics athletes, team mates, coaches and fans
together to the city.
Players from top GalatasaraySK VIP
Basketball and Volleyball club, including national Turkey team basketball
stars Goksenin Kösal and Sertaç Şanil, attended and supported the opening
ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympics Unified Volleyball and Traditional
Basketball Tournament in Istanbul.