Nike And Ashoka`s Changemakers Launched `Sport For A Better World` Competition At Next Step 2007 Conference In Namibia

Released on: December 10, 2007, 12:07 pm

Press Release Author: Ashoka\'s Changemakers

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: Ashoka's Changemakers and Nike have partnered to open a
worldwide search for leading innovations that use sport to improve community,
accelerate development and drive social change.

Press Release Body: In the midst of gathered sport and social change innovators --
including those spreading hope and AIDS awareness in Rwanda with a soccer ball and
others enticing girls in from the margins of Indian society with netball -- Nike and
Changemakers launched their Sport for a Better World competition at the Next Step
2007 conference in Namibia.

This collaborative competition centers on an open, interactive space at where individuals and organizations -- large and small, established
and emerging -- that use sport to transform lives and communities can present
proposals, network and share ideas. This approach is core to Nike's "Let Me Play"
global community investment strategy, which aims to extend the company's corporate
mission statement "to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the
world" (*if you have a body, you are an athlete).

"The richness of the sport for social change movement is to be found in the
grassroots, among community-based social entrepreneurs who are driving innovative
models based on local solutions," said Hannah Jones, Vice President Corporate
Responsibility, Nike, Inc.

"Changemakers seeks to support social entrepreneurs and amplify their efforts to
transform the world," said Changemakers Executive Director Charlie Brown. "This
collaboration with Nike on the Sport for a Better World competition -- our 13th
Changemakers competition -- provides an opportunity to identify changemakers within
the growing sector of sport-based social entrepreneurs, as well as bring energy and
awareness to this movement as a whole."

Innovators are rising to this competition's challenge, as 120 entries from 40
countries have been contributed. These inspired ideas for using sport to create
social change include:

. A Venezuelan proposal which seeks to end corruption within municipal sports
programs and provide access for all

. A United States-based organization that works with youth in East Africa to channel
their running talent toward scholarships for education and careers in sports

. A Egyptian project that ensures girls' rights to participate in school sports, and
keeps them involved in education, via a volleyball league

But posting an entry is not the only way to participate. Ultimately, the competition
seeks to connect and enhance the sport for social change community by encouraging
them to work together to accelerate the growth of this nascent field. Once an entry
is submitted, a public online discussion ensues at to offer
resources, make suggestions and strengthen the proposal. This process has already
begun to refine many of the entries.

To encourage participation from the academic community, a global "University
Challenge" has also been issued, which offers grants and prize money to the
students, faculty and institutions that contribute most meaningfully to the Nike -
Changemakers Competition: Sport for a Better World.

Boston's Northeastern University is already getting involved. "We are thrilled by
the unique opportunity to join other universities around the world to comment on the
proposals, as well as post sport and social change projects and programs emerging
through the academic arena," notes Eli A. Wolff of Northeastern University's Center
for the Study of Sport and Society. "This is an exciting and creative venue to share
insights and curiosity with the an emerging international field."

Entries for the Nike - Changemakers Competition: Sport for a Better World will be
accepted through Jaunary 8, 2008, but an early-entry prize - a trip to the 2008
Change Summit - will be awarded to one of the organizations or individuals that
submits a proposal by October 24.

Once the entry period ends, a panel of judges will select approximately 12
finalists, which will be chosen for the momentum and influence they can bring to the
sport for development movement as a whole, as well as their individual merit. The
competition's judges include Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls NBA basketball player; Nawal
el Moutawakel, member of the International Olympic Committee; Joan Laporta,
president of F.C. Barcelona; Mark Parker, president and CEO of Nike, Inc.; Ann
Veneman, executive director for UNICEF, and Mel Young, founder of the Homeless World

The finalists will then be reintroduced to the online community, which will vote for
three winners in February 2008. These winners will each receive $5000 to support
their project, and all of the finalists will be invited to the Change Summit next
spring, where they can meet, collaborate and network with potential investors and
participants in their efforts to employ sport as a means to a better world.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Ashoka\'s Changemakers
Contact: Delyse Sylvester
250-551-0570 media[at]

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