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The 2013 LA Watts Summer Games (LAWSG) is an interscholastic athletic competition that promotes positive interaction, respect and achievement among high school youth. The Games take place on June 8-9 and 14-15 this year for healthy competition among more than 4,000 California high school athletes. The first LA Watts Summer Games were held at Locke High School and consisted of 150 student-athletes competing in three different sport competitions. Over the past 45 years, close to 300,000 student-athletes from diverse socio-economic backgrounds have participated in the LA Watts Summer Games, including 8 Olympians and 6 Hall of Fame recipients, and star athletes such as Florence Griffith Joyner, Lisa Leslie, John Elway, Michael Cooper and many more.

This year marks the first annual LA Watts Summer Games Leadership Summit on May 4, with the aim to provide education about the mission and history of the Games and to provide a platform for leadership skills development for coaches and team captains. The half-day conference is designed to bring together coaches within the Southern California area currently involved in youth sport programs and high school-aged student athletes serving in the role of team captains for their team. 

We'll be leading a panel of experts as we dive into the always hot topic of "Student Athletes and Social Media," focusing on both what to do and not to do on social media. There have been several cases recently of student-athletes who've been too outspoken on Twitter or Facebook, and their comments have been damaging to both their athletic programs as well as their own individual careers. One in particular we'll be dicussing is Ohio State QB Cardale Jones, who tweeted this last fall...


If you're in the LA area on Sat May 4th, please come and join us!

Student-Athletes and Social Media: Lessons and best practices for student-athletes and coaches


Sat, May 4, 2013

Matt Elliott, Director of Compliance, UCLA
Trenton Cornelius, Assistant Commissioner, CIF - Los Angeles City Section
Brian Murphy, Senior Advisor, John R. Wooden Award
Garry Paskwietz, Founder, and co-host on ESPN 710

Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets
7400 W. Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, California, 90045


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This conference will bring together a star-studded cast of sports-based youth development characters. Together you'll learn the methodology behind a unique new approach to getting better outcomes for kids.

When: May 3-4, 2013
Friday, 8AM - 3PM
Saturday, 8AM - 1PM

Where: LA84 Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

LA84 Grantee Registration: FREE
Up2Us Member Registration: $25
Non-Up2Us Member Registration: $40

Hosted by the LA84 Foundation with facilitators from Up2Us' Center for Sports-Based Youth Development, Edgework Consulting, and The Boston University Institute for Athletic Coach Education.

For more information, please visit

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 00:00

Today, We Are All Boston Strong...

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Our friends at PictureHealing want to give 100 nonprofits a FREE mobile app! If you work at a nonprofit organization, all you need to do is submit a story (one page or less) to for a chance to win one of 100 custom mobile apps for your organization. The team over at PictureHealing has reached out to their community and raised nearly $4,000 to be able to afford to donate these apps to you!

A new mobile app would allow you to process donations, text your supporters, recruit volunteers, promote fundraisers and events, crowdfund wish lists, connect all of your social media and SO much more!

You can find out more about what the crew at PictureHealing is doing by visiting

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For the past few years, we've been carrying the ball for Cause Marketing, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprise in sports. It is our firm belief that the sports industry can evolve beyond traditional philanthropy and embrace these strategies to drive business and drive change. And now there is place to learn the "X's and O's" from experts, peers and multiple industry leaders.
It's time for Business4Better.

Business4Better (B4B) is a two-day conference and expo, May 1-2, 2013 in Anaheim, CA, designed to help businesses develop the knowledge, competencies and contacts to partner with nonprofits in ways that have a substantive impact on societal causes.



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Sports and Social Work. Not words you commonly hear in the same sentence. But at one of the nation's leading collegiate sports programs, the two have become deeply connected thanks to the work of a dedicated and passionate advocate for student athletes and a committed group of students. The University of Michigan has won numerous NCAA championships and has produced a long roster of successful professional athletes. But more importantly, the athletic program has produced successful "people" through the efforts of Associate Athletic Director Greg Harden.

Harden has been at Michigan since 1986, originally working under legendary football coach Bo Schembechler and eventually taking over responsibilities across the entire spectrum of the athletic program. His role? "Total Person Development." He brings a background in Social Work and a personal history of being a collegiate athlete who followed a tumultuous path, and has a tremendous perspective on what it takes to succeed off the field and outside the classroom. We had a chance to speak with him briefly earlier this week in the run-up to the school's Social Work and Sport Association mini-conference, "Beyond the Playing Field: The Social Impact of Sport.

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"What exactly is a sports nonprofit organization?"

In developing cause marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs around sports, this is a question we run into quite often. While some people are familiar with a few well-known sports nonprofit orgs like Special Olympics or the Boys and Girls Clubs, the breadth and depth of what the programs in this space provide is truly unique. Recognizing the differences surrounding how these programs work and what type of impact they strive for are vitally important to anyone who wants to create an effective for-profit/nonprofit relationship in sports.

For those of you who come from the business side of this equation, our hope is this will provide a clearer picture of the overall sports nonprofit landscape so you can make better-informed decisions when selecting a nonprofit partner for cause marketing campaigns or broader CSR initiatives.

So what is a sports nonprofit...?

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For many in the sports community, the announcement last month from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding schools' obligations to provide access to sports programs for students with disabilities was a sea-change moment, much like Title IX was for women's athletics. Inclusion has always been a core message in the disability community, and this directive presents a great leap forward to carry that theme throughout the grassroots of the sports world.

As expected, this also brought with it a myriad of questions about how these programs should be implemented, what constitutes a fair, safe and level playing field for all competitors, and what types of equipment and facilities are necessary. We've been in touch with the team at Active Policy Solutions who drafted the directive, to shed some light on these issues. As with any significant change, there are going to be a few bumps in the road. But for most athletes with disabilities, a few bumps have never stopped them from accomplishing any of their goals.

Q and A: Disability in Sport

On January 24, 2013 the Office for Civil Rights issued a Dear Colleague Letter clarifying schools’ obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide extracurricular athletic opportunities for students with disabilities.

This Dear Colleague Letter provides a clear roadmap for interpreting the guidance so that schools can better integrate students with disabilities into mainstream athletic programs - and create adapted programs for students with disabilities.

I. Benefits of Participation

1. Why should schools offer athletic programs to students with disabilities?

The benefits of athletic and physical education programs are equally important for students with disabilities as they are for all students. Physical activity is key in addressing the obesity epidemic that is especially problematic for individuals with disabilities, as 50% of people with disabilities do not engage in any physical activity. Participating in physical activity helps reduce obesity and prevent health problems, such as heart disease, breast cancer and debilitating stress?related illnesses like depression.

Individuals with disabilities who participate in sports have higher self-esteem, better body images and higher rates of academic success; and are more likely to graduate from high school and matriculate in college; and experience greater career success and more options.

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We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Sterling Planet to offer environmentally responsible energy solutions for sporting events across the country, with the goal to create "carbon neutral" events for all participants and attendees.

Winner of the 2012 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Supplier of the Year Award, Sterling Planet is a sustainability pioneer and innovative supplier of renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon solutions, and has become a key player in driving sustainability and responsible energy usage in the sports business through relationships with the NHL, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Kroenke Sports Enterprises (Pepsi Center/Denver Nuggets) and Beyond Sport.

We have partnered with Sterling Planet to offer their carbon neutral solutions to Action Sports event organizers for all types of surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, motocross and BMX races and contests, as well as Endurance Racing events including marathons, 5K/10K races, triathlons, cycling and mountain biking events.

We believe our combined efforts will help the sports industry run events, tournaments and races that have a big impact on society and very small impact on the environment. The press release below has more information on the relationship; please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for full details and to learn more about creating an environmentally responsible sports event.

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew."
~ Marshall McLuhan

Sterling Planet Teams Up with Sports and Social Change to Lower Environmental Impacts

Sports Industry Offered New Sustainability, Clean Energy and Carbon Avoidance Solutions

ATLANTA, GA - Sterling Planet, the nation’s leading retail provider of renewable energy and other carbon-reduction assets, announced today a unique partnership with Sports and Social Change, a cause-driven social enterprise in the sports industry. The two partners are providing clean energy and carbon avoidance solutions for sports event producers, participants and fans.

Sports are a year-round pastime for millions of Americans, whether they're playing and competing or watching and cheering. But what many may not realize is that staging all types and levels of competitions, tournaments and similar sports events in communities around the nation requires logistics, transportation and facility operation functions – and the significant consumption of energy and resources.

Sterling Planet and Sports and Social Change are working together at the grassroots level -  where sports event programming happens on a year-round, national basis - to provide verified environmental assets and help sports event organizers reduce energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from sports events. These assets include Sterling Planet's comprehensive portfolio of renewable energy certificates (RECs), carbon offsets and innovative White Tags® energy efficiency certificates.

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When we created this platform, the name "Sports and Social Change" was something that came to us pretty easily. Our entire initiative is to focus on the intersection of sports and the people, programs and events that drive positive social change. However, we realize what doesn't come easy is that change. It takes time, unwavering dedication and often great sacrifice to enact lasting change in society.


And if there's one person who embodied all of that and more - and all that we strive to do here - it is Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson.


Today, January 31st, is his birthday, and we would like to honor his landmark career and his memory.



Thank you Jackie. Your contributions to society far exceeded anything you did on the diamond. And what you did there was pretty special to begin with.

Happy Birthday Jackie Robinson. You are Sports and Social Change.

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