Sports and Social Change
Saturday, 07 July 2012 00:00

Will You Play Hockey For Food?

Even though Lord Stanely's Cup is residing in Los Angeles this summer, we know that hockey's homeland is Canada. And while the indoor ice rinks across the country are surely bustling with kids at hockey camps throughout the summer, plenty of Canadians use the great summer weather to get outside and do something fun - like play street hockey!

The team at Five Hole for Food has literally taken the game to streets as they embark on their 3rd annual cross-country traveling street hockey tour to help raise food, funds and awareness for community food banks across the nation. From Newfoundland to British Columbia, FHFF organizes drop-in ball-hockey games in major cities to collect donations and create awareness for community food banks. Since its inception in 2010, FHFF has collected the equivalent of almost 70,000 pounds of food.

This year’s campaign starts July 3 in St. John's, N.L., and finishes with its premiere event, July 21 in Vancouver, B.C. The road crew will drive approximately 11,000 kilometres, visiting 13 cities in 19 days.

St. John's, NL | Georges Street | July 3
Halifax, NS | Argyle Street | July 5
Charlottetown, PEI |Peakes Quay | July 6
Saint John, NB | Smythe Street | July 7
Montreal, QB | Avenue des Canadiens | July 9
Ottawa, ON | Sparks Street | July 10
Toronto, ON | Yonge and Dundas Square | July 12
Winnipeg, MB | The Forks | July 14
Regina, SK | Scarth Street Mall | July 15
Calgary, AB | Eau Claire Festival Market | July 17
Edmonton, AB | Beaver Hill Park | July 18
Victoria, BC | Saanich Plaza | July 20
Vancouver, BC | Granville Street | July 21

You can follow their journey on Facebook and Twitter (Hashtag: #FHFF) and come out to enjoy the fun and help out a great cause when the FHFF tour passes through your town!

Will you play hockey for food?

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On Saturday, July 14, 2012, Six-time Ironman Triathlete and ultrarunner Lamar Sepulveda will attempt to break the world record for miles run on a treadmill in 12 hours.

Why? Well, for one, he's turning 55 the day before and this is how ultra-marathoners and Ironman triathletes celebrate.

But more importantly, Lamar and his wife Rosalind are the brains, legs, lungs and huge hearts behind the Pay It Forward Challenge which uses endurance sports to raise funds and awareness for charities and to inspire others to do so. In 2008, Lamar completed a 611-mile solo state-to-state swim-bike-run from Venice Beach, CA to Phoenix, AZ, raising $15,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County Cancer Institute where his son had been a leukemia patient.

Learn more about Lamar and his motivation for the "Treadmill Challenge" in this clip...

And now, they're doing their part to raise funds and awareness for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a nonprofit organization that helps people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF grantees include people born with physical disabilities and people who have become disabled through illness, accident or armed forces or first responder injuries. Many CAF-supported athletes will compete in the Paralympic Games this summer in London.

The current world record for most miles run on a treadmill in 12 hours is 58.05 miles. Sepulveda will attempt to run a minimum of 58.1 miles or more on a state-of-the-art SK treadmill provided by BH Fitness.

And best of all, you can watch Lamar's attempt right here on!
We will be streaming the event LIVE on Saturday July 14th from 8am - 8pm PST. There will also be a link to donate directly to the Challenged Athletes Foundation and we encourage anyone out there who is inspired by Lamar's efforts to support this amazing organization.

A world record in the making, for a great cause. How are you celebrating your birthday this year?


For more information, check out


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Here's a great opportunity for those in the Phoenix, AZ area to learn more about how the Arizona Diamondbacks Community Relations team works with area nonprofits. The 2012 Diamondbacks Speaker Series at Chase Field has an event happening on July 24th featuring a discussion on community relations and nonprofits, led by Debbie Castaldo, Vice President of Community Affairs and Executive Director of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

Tickets are $20 and include the networking event in the Miller Lite Diamond Club and that evening's game against the Colorado Rockies.

For more information contact:
Kristen Leetz
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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It was an exciting week in baseball, especially for San Francisco Giants fans! On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, Matt Cain pitched a perfect game - the first by any Giants pitcher since the team was established in 1883. That's 130 years for those of you who aren't great at math.

Cain led the Giants to a 10-0 victory over the Houston Astros in the 22nd perfect game in MLB history. While reaching one of the most elite clubs in Major League Baseball, Cain threw 125 pitches, the most ever thrown in a perfect game, and struck out 14 batters, matching Sandy Koufax's total for the most K's in a perfect game.


Needless to say, AT&T Park felt like it was right back in the 2010 World Series. The energy was electric. As both a sports enthusiast and environmentalist, I can't help but feel the game was even more perfect because the historical moment took place in one of the greenest ballparks in the world.

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World Bicycle Relief

ASSOCIATED SPORTS: Cycling, Triathlon
CAUSES SERVED: Disaster Relief, Economic Development, Education, Health, Poverty
EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"A bicycle is an industrial revolution in an individual's life." ~ F.K. Day | President, Co-Founder, World Bicycle Relief

With over 200 years behind it, the bicycle has proven to be one of the most remarkable inventions in modern times. Although there is much debate over who built the first bicycle, there is no questioning the impact it’s had around the world. Just the range of uses alone is amazing – from a child’s toy, to fitness & recreational use, to high end racing, to military/police applications, to courier services, to basic transportation of people and goods. In fact, several components that eventually played a key role in the development of the automobile were invented for the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets, and spoke-tensioned wheels.

In many rural parts of the world, where poor roads and infrastructure make access to food, water and basic services like healthcare and education extremely difficult, a bicycle can literally be life changing. That’s what the team behind World Bicycle Relief realized back in 2005 when the organization was created in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, providing over 24,000 bicycles to help the people of Sri Lanka rebuild their lives and their communities. Since then, World Bicycle Relief has expanded to provide services across the African continent, with over 105,000 bicycles and 750 trained mechanics in the field, bicycle assembly facilities in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and a unique approach to personal empowerment through job development, education, microfinance and social enterprise.

Take a quick ride through the World Bicycle Relief story and learn how the amazing two wheeled invention continues to change the world…

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The Olympic Torch Relay is one of the great traditions of the Olympic Games. The flame is lit in Greece at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, and passed on to the host country, where it winds its way through big cities and small towns, until it's presented at the opening ceremonies to signify the start of the games. This year, the journey covers 70 miles across the UK, with the torch carried by over 8,000  individuals, including one of the most inspirational people we've had the pleasure to meet in the sports nonprofit space...

Paul Clarke is the founder of the Great Football Giveaway, a group of dedicated folks who do one simple thing and do it very well: Get sports equipment to the world's poorest children...

"Paul, 38, founder of The Great Football Giveaway charity, has dedicated his life to hand-deliver over 20,000 footballs to kids in the world's poorest countries & mentors UK volunteers to follow his example. A simple idea to take a bag of balls to Malawi in 2006 grew into an epic journey. Following prolonged fundraising efforts, Paul's mission was to get sports equipment directly to the world's poorest kids. Paul has witnessed extreme poverty in Malawi, navigated landmines in Angola, seen rehabilitation of child soldiers in Rwanda & smuggled balls across the border into war-torn Congo; doing whatever it takes to get balls directly to the kids. Paul is an inspiring individual to his local community; determined to help put smiles on kids' faces by ensuring no child is denied the simple pleasure of kicking a ball about. Paul represents the Olympic spirit of peace, hope, respect & friendship."



Paul and his team are preparing for a return trip to Malawi this year, and they're looking for teams of three or more volunteers who want to be a part of something very special. Visit or Like them on Facebook to learn how you can participate or donate to support their latest efforts.


Can a football really change someone's life? just watch this short clip and see for yourself:

Congrats to Paul and the Great Football Giveaway on being a part of such an amazing tradition and best of luck in Malawi this year!

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It must be inscribed in the "Mom's Handbook" or just hardwired into the Mom DNA - take care of the family first and yourself when you get a chance. But the American Cancer Society wants Moms everywhere to know that it's time to "Choose You" to stay healthy and reduce their risk of cancer.

The ACS message to Moms is clear: "In the constant struggle between family, work, and self, we know how difficult it is to focus on you. To help change this, the Choose You program provides the tools and support women need to commit to and achieve their personal health and wellness goals." And this month, the message is "Choose Play in May" as they're looking to inspire 100,000 acts of play for women across the country.

A big part of the campaign is getting the word out that diet and exercise are directly related to your cancer risk. "It's not one thing that's going to change your risk," said Colleen Doyle, Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity at the American Cancer Society, "it's all things combined." To that point, the ACS Choose You campaign is built around 5 simple messages - Eat Right, Get Active, Quit Smoking, Get Regular Health Checks, and Protect Your Skin.

The ACS Choose You movement kicked off it's 2012 push with events in 3 cities this month, including a stop in LA this past week. The concept is simple: Choose Play and get back to fun activities that will keep you healthy and reduce your cancer risk. An ACS survey found that 40% of women said they would be more physically active in their free time if it felt less like work and more like play. So the Choose You events were designed to make fitness fun again, using  hula hoops, hoppity-hop balls and double Dutch jump ropes and the Skip-it (yes, the 80's are making a comeback in more than just music and fashion!).

And how does the health care industry feel about this? Well, just ask the folks at Quest Diagnostics, whose support of the Choose You program includes distributing 10,000 vouchers women can redeem online to schedule a free Blueprint for Wellness® screening at a Quest Diagnostics patient service center. Each screening participant will receive a personalized My 5 to Health report with biometrics and laboratory test results for diabetes and heart disease risk, a Metabolic Syndrome risk score, and a "tear out" summary page they can take to their doctor

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While we're certainly the biggest proponents of making social good a priority in the sports industry, we also realize these efforts can have their fair share of challenges, from identifying the right relationship, agreeing on goals to addressing the financial hurdles. And then, there are often logistical issues to making a for-profit/nonprofit collaborative program a reality, especially when scaling up on a level where it can have significant national impact. When you have 635 locations around the country and over 11,000 employees, these issues are a definite reality. But that didn't seem to slow down the folks at Finish Line, one of the nation's leading athletic footwear retailers.

As a company, Finish Line is already well beyond the standard "pick a charity - write the big check - take the photo - get the story" scenario. The company's charitable arm - Finish Line Youth Foundation (FLYF) - has been active since 1998 through grants supporting programs around the country that "place an importance on youth development and a healthy, active lifestyle" as well as emergency funds for disaster relief, providing aid in recent years to the communities of Joplin, Southern Indiana, New Orleans and Haiti.


Internally, the company was seeking a national program where they could engage their employees and activate their participation on a local level. So they did their homework, hiring a research firm to poll employees around the country and at Finish Line HQ in Indianapolis to identify a cause that resonated and presented the best fit, and Special Olympics was the clear favorite.

Special Olympics is one of the most well-known organizations in the sports nonprofit space, thanks to a long history, global reach, high-profile support and most of all, impactful sports and health programming for people with intellectual disabilities. Finish Line's research found this was the cause their employees were most interested in supporting, as they understood and greatly appreciated the Special Olympics mission and programs. At the same time, they also realized there's still a need to clarify what Special Olympics does within the communities they serve.

As such, a big part of the collaboration going forward is on education and awareness at the store level. "We feel the education side is our responsibility to our employees as well as to our customers," said Marty Posch, Executive Director of the Finish Line Youth Foundation. "If we can get our employees AND our customers talking about Special Olympics, that can build both engagement and financial support for the organization in their community.”

This is one of the more unique nonprofit/retail relationship in the sports industry, as there are layers beyond traditional in-store exposure and fundraising initiatives. Finish Line employees will be volunteering at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Indiana and at other events in Chicago and Atlanta this spring, and additional markets will be added in the coming years. And the sale of Special Olympics branded merchandise at 635 locations nationwide kicks-off with the back-to-school shopping season.

Finish Line has also chosen to support a new Special Olympics initiative, serving as the only national sponsor of the organizations' new TRAIN program - a first of its kind sports assessment and nutrition education program designed to help athletes stay active, stay healthy, and achieve their personal best. In addition to helping to finance the program, Finish Line employees will help activate the TRAIN program for Special Olympics athletes in key markets.

The program kicked off this month in Chicago with upcoming events in Atlanta (5/19) and Indianapolis (6/01). "Our plan is to get it right in these markets, then roll this out on a larger scale from there," said Posch.

For more on the relationship, check out the official press release and visit Finish Line Youth Foundation

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Black athletes and racism. It's a topic that unfortunately bubbles up to the surface several times a year. And this week was no different.
Wait a minute - this week was VERY different...

Two black athletes, two instances of racism. But the similarities ended there.
Because one was a victim and one a perpetrator.

Detroit Tigers' Delmon Young arrested for hate crime.
Not quite the headline you expect to read in your Saturday morning sports section. According to reports, Young was heavily intoxicated and harassed a pan-handler on the street in New York, yelling anti-semitic remarks

New York police spokesman Joseph Cavitolo told the Detroit Free Press that a confrontation began around 2:30 a.m., after a group of men spoke with a panhandler. Delmon Young, allegedly drunk, exchanged words with the men. According to Cavitolo, Young said, “You bunch of f---ing Jews.” He then pushed one of the men, tackled him to the ground, and then followed the man into the hotel’s lobby. Young was then arrested, and had to be sent to a nearby hospital due to his level of intoxication.

This comes on the heels of the racist "tweets" from Boston Bruins fans directed at Washington Capitals' Joel Ward, after he scored a series ending, game 7 overtime goal in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ward handled it in stride, and both the NHL and the Bruins' organization stepped up to denounce the racist comments. The NHL has made big strides with its diversity program Hockey is for Everyone led by ambassador Willie O'Ree - known as the Jackie Robinson of hockey for breaking the color barrier in the 1950's.

I think ESPN's Scoop Jackson summed it up well: "Tweets masked as feelings that weren't about him as much as they were about the society we live in."

Racism in any form is racism. These stories need to get out so we can all recognize that racism and anti-semitism are still issues in the sports community. Whether it be on the field, off the rink, after the game, among players, fans, whomever, whenever, there's no place for it and it needs to stop.

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We salute International Women's Day and encourage everyone in the global sports community to eliminate all forms of gender bias...

International Women's Day

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