ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES 2016 SPORTS AWARD FINALISTS

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced 12 finalists for the 2016 Sports Award, an honor recognizing professional teams, individuals and organizations that strengthen and serve communities through sport. The winners will be announced on September 28, 2016 at the Foundation’s headquarters in Princeton, N.J.

The Sports Award recognizes innovative and influential approaches to using sports to make communities healthier places to live. Approaches may include: helping children maintain a healthy weight, creating safe play environments, encouraging positive behaviors, eliminating bullying, abuse and violence, and expanding opportunities for children living in poverty.
 

“The finalists for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award are outstanding examples of organizations dedicated to a Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of RWJF. “They have demonstrated a successful track record as a powerful voice for the importance of sports as a platform for community health and well-being.”

Below are the finalists in each category:

A professional sports team community relations department or foundation:

The Giants Community Fund collaborates with the San Francisco Giants to use baseball as a forum to
encourage underserved youth and their families to live healthy, productive lives and provides assistance
to targeted community initiatives in the areas of education, health and violence prevention.

MLSE Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting
dreams on the playing field. With the support of MLSE’s teams (the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto
Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies) the Foundation’s latest project, MLSE LaunchPad, will be the
first collaborative space in North America to leverage sport, education and research to promote social
change.

The Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy is an organization dedicated to using baseball and
softball as vehicles to foster positive character development, academic success, and improved health
among underserved youth in Washington, D.C. Designed specifically to meet the needs of those from
underserved neighborhoods, the Academy’s programming is rigorous, research-based, and diverse, giving youth opportunities to improve their physical fitness and academic performance, while gaining exposure
to new experiences.

 

An individual athlete or professional coach’s foundation:

The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism (DFF) is a not-for-profit helping families affected by autism live
life to the fullest. Through programs and partnerships, DFF helps people with autism get access to care;
lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence. The Foundation was established in 1998
by NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie, whose personal experience raising a son on the
autism spectrum inspired their passion to help other families.

The Moyer Foundation provides comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and
addiction. Founded in 2000 by MLB pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen, The Moyer Foundation
supports thousands of children and families each year through its free signature programs and services.
The Foundation supports Camp Erin®, the largest national bereavement program for children and teens
grieving the death of someone significant in their lives, as well as Camp Mariposa®, an addiction
prevention and mentoring program for youth impacted by the substance abuse of a family member. The
Moyer Foundation Resource Center extends the Foundation’s continuum of care by providing robust
online resources and personalized support for families experiencing grief or addiction.

Since 1996, the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation has provided opportunities to improve the
physical and emotional health through gymnastics for children of all ages in underserved communities.
Founder Wendy Hilliard, Hall of Fame rhythmic gymnast and the first African-American to represent the
U.S. in international competition was inspired to begin the foundation after training her athlete, Aliane
Baquerot, for the 1996 Olympics. Through a myriad of programs, the foundation addresses the issues of
childhood obesity, diabetes and other health problems due to a lack of exercise among urban youth by
providing a comprehensive youth development program that introduces them to healthier living.

An organization that is an influential leader and model for others:

For more than 23 years, A World Fit for Kids! has prepared children and young people to lead fit and
fulfilling lives. The organization has brought more than $30 million into high poverty neighborhoods in
inner city Los Angeles, used sports and innovative physical activity approaches to make life-changing
opportunities available free of charge to over 300,000 low-income students and trained more than 10,000
classroom teachers and staff to deliver high quality programming both during the school and afterschool
hours.

Figure Skating in Harlem is the first community-based fitness and education organization in the world
that combines the power of education with the sport of figure skating to help underserved girls thrive and
build strong leaders and healthy communities. For nearly two decades, they have engaged girls from
some of New York City’s most under-resourced communities in their innovative program, which provides
a safe, supportive, and structured girls-only after-school environment, academic support, educational
enrichment, and access to regular exercise. Through ice skating and fitness, they help students improve
their health while developing valuable life skills, such as perseverance, responsibility, teamwork, and
leadership that propel them to success on and off the ice.

InnerCity Weightlifting reduces youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new
networks and opportunities, including meaningful career tracks in and beyond personal fitness. InnerCity
Weightlifting uses the gym to replace segregation and isolation with economic mobility and social inclusion, disrupting the system that leads to urban street violence. The gym is a hook for us to earn our
students trust, build relationships, and provide a positive community for our students to belong. Our
students gain hope. They get to see the world – and be seen by it – in a very different way, paving a path
for sustainable and systemic change.

Based on the premise that “children who play together can learn to live together,” PeacePlayers
International (PPI) uses basketball to unite, educate and inspire young people in divided communities
around the world. With key institutional partners like USAID, adidas and the Laureus Sport for Good
Foundation, PPI has developed a groundbreaking peacebuilding-and-leadership development curriculum
that uses sport to bring children together and teach them proven tactics for improving their communities.
Explains Ali, a PPI participant in Jerusalem, “Now I have friends who I never thought I would be friends
with, people I can go out with outside of the court … and it doesn’t matter what’s his religion, where he’s
from, what’s his culture, what he thinks.”

STOKED creates fearless leaders through mentoring, opportunity, and action. STOKED’s core programs,
rooted in action sports, provide the foundation for underserved youth to gain confidence, set and achieve
goals, and lead healthy lives. Since 2005, STOKED has transformed the lives of over 4,000 at-risk youth
through snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in
underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to
help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond
sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities
thrive. The Foundation partners with local communities to create cost-effective, long-term initiatives that
meet each community’s youth-development needs.

 

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award honors individuals, organizations and teams that are making communities healthier through sport and are dedicated to creating a Culture of Health. Follow the award on Twitter (@RWJFSportsAward).

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at http://www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Contact:

Alisha Greenberg
RWJF Sports Award
alishagreenberg@gmail.com
(301) 657-9379

Melissa Blair
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
media@rwjf.org
(609) 627-5937

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OUR PARTNERS

  • adidas

    adidas

    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

  • APT

    APT

    APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.

  • AstroTurf

    AstroTurf

    For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. – See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf

  • CHA

    CHA

    CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

  • The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

  • Hunter

    Hunter

    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

  • Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal

    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

  • MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS

    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

  • Musco

    Musco

    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

  • SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports

    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

  • Soccer.com

    Soccer.com

    Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

  • Target

    Target

    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

  • TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide

    TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

    For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

  • World Soccer Shop

    World Soccer Shop

    Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

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