In the sports world, one of the rewards for winning a major championship is often a trip to the White House and a visit with the President. In fact, the World Series champion Boston Red Sox just stopped by Pennsylvania Ave this week, with veteran slugger David Ortiz even snapping a "selfie" with the Commander in Chief himself. Super Bowl winners, Stanley Cup champs, along with US Olympic AND Paralympic athletes have all had their day in DC to be recognized and celebrated.
But there is a team that has achieved major international success representing the USA - winning two straight World Championships - that has yet to receive their invitation to the White House: The United States Power Soccer team.
What drives change? People. Confronted with difficult circumstances, bad situations, or the evolving process of negative cause and effect, when some people see these things in the world, they stop and take action. John and Carmen Nomad are those people. Driven to make a positive change for orphaned youth in Zambia, they’re on a mission to build a Sports Academy. Check out John and Carmen’s story below and follow their journey at www.nomadsportsacademy.blogspot.com
Africa has always been our passion. We have lived in Africa and explored a big chunk of it since 1995. The massive diversity of this continent, the thousands of cultural aspects and the landscapes make every journey a unique discovery. We love to explore places off the beaten path like the Kalahari Desert (where we lived and worked with the San people), Congo jungle (with the fantastic Bambuti pygmies), to remote regions like the Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast, to Victoria Falls and Zanzibar. Being bikers we have an added advantage: We see everything raw, unfiltered by a car’s air-conditioning or a windshield; we smell the African fires in the villages, the acacia flowers in bloom in the desert and all these sensations make you fall even more in love with Africa.
Nelson Mandela once said that “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.“ Millions of travelers around the globe share a passion for sports. They travel the world for their favorite sports - from skiing, surfing, cycling, hiking to diving trips, but many of these trips don’t benefit the places they visit. Travel2change launched the sports challenge to use travel and sports to create change.
How can travelers use sports to create a positive impact during their trip? In an open call for meaningful travel experience ideas, local hosts are encouraged to submit a meaningful travel experience that would benefit their community. Travelers vote for their favorite ideas and discuss the experiences.
Sina, the travel2change community builder, explains: “Many travelers are willing to share their skills. They dedicate time for volunteer jobs, and some even pay a fortune for it. At travel2change we believe that if you combine doing what you love with something good we can have a bigger impact.“
How can you participate? If you run a nonprofit or are a local community member from anywhere in the world, submit your idea to host a meaningful travel experience that could benefit your community. Show how travelers can support you to accomplish your goals. It doesn't matter if it's a project you’re working on, a unique approach to tackle an issue that bothers you, or a "wouldn't it be cool if...", sharing your idea for an experience is the first step toward bringing it to life. As a traveler passionate about sports and social change, discover meaningful experiences you want to join, get inspired and vote for your favorite idea.
Finally, an expert jury will evaluate and award the best ideas according to feasibility, sustainability, fun factor and social impact.
More information available at http://sports.travel2change.org or contact Sina Hillger, Community Manager at
While everyone is talking brackets and buckets (and even spring training!) I'm still basking in the glow of the Winter Paralympic Games that wrapped up this past weekend in Russia. And rightly so. The coverage in the US was a dramatic improvement over past Paralympic games, winter or summer. Feedback and comments from athletes, coaches and staff was overwhelmingly positive, even with at-times "sketchy" snow conditions for several of the alpine events.
Before that glow slowly fades, I wanted to share several stories from in and around the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games that caught my eye. They bring to light important issues around all sports - be it for people with disabilities or not - that resonate with the underlying vision of what Sports and Social Change is about...
When does someone know they've "arrived?" Is there a moment in time when you look around and seemingly out of nowhere, somebody or something has bubbled up into the public consciousness? For the Paralympic Games and athletes with disabilities, that moment may be approaching faster than a slalom gate.
The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi are heading into the final weekend, already hitting record ticket sales for a winter event and racking up broadcast and streaming views well beyond what was seen - and quite frankly technologically possible - four years ago in Vancouver. Just 18 months ago, the 2012 Paralympic Summer Games in London marked what was certainly a watershed moment in raising the profile of sports for people with disabilities, and the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games have been able to build on that momentum through a nice mix of emerging corporate partnerships,expanded broadcast coverage as well as some clever merchandising.