Premier League Goes (RED) for AIDS Campaign

The Premier League has gone (RED) this weekend to help raise funds for the “Lace Up. Save Lives” AIDS charity campaign.

A specially-designed Nike ball is being used in all matches from Saturday to Monday. Meanwhile, players Cesc Fabregas, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Fernando Torres and other stars will also wear Nike (RED) laces in their shoes during the matches to show their support for the campaign.

The Nike (RED) laces are also available for purchase, with 100% of the profits split equally between two good causes; Half of the money will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria which funds AIDS programs that provide medicine, treatment and services for those living with HIV. The remainder will fund football-based community initiatives which deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention.

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore: “A red ball and red laces are simple ideas, but sometimes those are the best – the hope is that the profile given through this and the money raised through ‘Lace Up, Save Lives’ will provide significant impetus and funding to the Global Fund’s activities to aid the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

“Football has a particular resonance in Africa, especially the Barclays Premier League, and our support for this campaign is part of our wider commitment to coaching, education and other good cause investment right across the continent” (Premier League).

Kevin Wall to Lead World Cup Kickoff Event

20 Centres for 2010

20 Centres for 2010

The BBC reported that a major chartiy concert has been announced to kick off the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The event will take place June 10 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.

The show is being staged by Kevin Wall, who produced the Live 8 and Live Earth events. The concert will be broadcast around the world with the line-up and ticket details to be announced in January. The BBC added that there are “rumours that the Spice Girls would re-unite one last time for the concert.”

The concert will raise money for the World Cup’s official charity, 20 Centres for 2010. The organization hopes to build twenty Football for Hope Centres for public health, education and football across Africa (BBC News, 10/16).

Houston Wins Hometown Dynamo Charities Cup

Houston_Dynamo 150The MLS Houston Dynamo played Mexico’s CF Monterrey this weekend in the inaugural Dynamo Charities Cup friendly event. A crowd of 10,456 was on hand to see a Dynamo victory.

Dynamo COO Chris Canetti told MLSnet.com’s Andrew Ferraro that he wants the Dynamo Charities Cup to become an annual event that fans look forward to each season.

“We hope that both teams can provide a good match this weekend and kick off the Dynamo Charities Cup tradition where well into the future we will be able to bring an international opponent that will play a charitable match for our community,” said Canetti (MLS).

New Athletes for Hope PSA Supports ThanksUSA

In September, Athletes for Hope invited members of the U.S. Men’s Soccer team in Salt Lake City to film a PSA to support ThanksUSA, a non-profit that is thanking Americas troops and families with the gift of education.

ThanksUSA provides two year, four year, and vocational school scholarships based on financial need and community leadership to the children and spouses of active duty military personnel. Since 2005, nearly 1800 scholarships have been awarded to these military family members in all fifty states. Each scholarship is valued at $3,000 and the goal for 2009 is to award another 500 scholarships, totaling $1.5 million.

This Week’s PSA: US Soccer Foundation

The mission of the U.S. Soccer Foundation is to improve the health and well being of children in urban economically disadvantaged areas using soccer as a vehicle for social change. The organization has taken a leading role in supporting the continuous development of the sport at all levels. $50 million in grants, financial support and loans have been made to help develop coaches, players and referees (US Soccer Foundation).

Miami’s Minority Soccer Development Planning Youth World Cup; Two Wizards Help Tour De Forks Benefit

In Miami, Adam Beasley noted the charity legends soccer game at FIU Stadium later this month. The match will benefit Minority Soccer Development, “which encourages underprivileged youths to play the game.”

Minority Soccer Development Director of Education Frank Perez: “We’re making a real, concerted effort to reach out to children most underprivileged. Soccer is played for free all over the world. Only here do you have to pay for it.” [Read more…]

Soccer: Sounders FC Partners with Nothing But Nets

Seattle Sounders

The Seattle Sounders FC have partnered with Nothing But Nets to launch a Bed Net fundraising campaign by inviting fans to make a donation at the March 28 Sounders FC match at the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Fans contributed at ticket gates, the Pro Shop at Qwest Field or through soundersfc.com. Donations go directly toward the purchase, distribution and education about the proper use of a bed net, which can prevent malaria. The month-long campaign will culminate on World Malaria Day on April 25th. [Read more…]

News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

The 24 Hours of Booty tops this week’s news bytes. The official 24 hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation is getting some help from NASCAR driver and avid cyclist Bobby Labonte. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on LeBron James, Brandon Webb, Diego and others.

Image Name

24 Hours of Booty: 24 Hours of Booty, which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity event in the country, has partnered with NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte’s Breaking Limits marketing agency to help acquire new corporate partnerships. Labonte: “I’m an avid cyclist, and a supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG campaign, so the 24 Hours of Booty rides truly align with what I believe in and support” (24 Hours of Booty).

Take the jump to read more of this week’s bytes. [Read more…]

Changemakers Search for Ways to Use Sports to Help Girls and Women Ending Soon

You’ve got one week left to to propose a way to leverage sport for positive social change in the lives of girls and women. The Nike Gamechangers “Change the Game for Women in Sport” initiative will close submissions on February 25. This project hopes to catalyze change for women through sport and bring real solutions to our most troubling gender specific social problems.

What Are They Looking For? Grace Nyinawumuntu is a great example of the dreams that this Nike Changemakers initiative is looking for. Growing up in Rwanda, Grace admits she “beat genocide.” Grace: “Football is a medicine. Football changed my life.”

Grace now has a vision to provide training for coaches in Rwanda. She added, “With enough of coaches, we will also have a lot of players. … My vision is not for one year, it’s not for five years, it is a long time.” Check out her entire story in the video (Gamechangers).

Video added to YouTube: November 18, 2008

Charity Soccer Match in Nepal Proves Soccer Violence is Worldwide Issue

Charity Soccer Match in Nepal (4:38)

This video, which originally aired as part of the Goalisimo program, chronicles a charity soccer tournament in Cavre Nepal’s poor rural district. Unfortunately, as CozmicTV suggests, “It just goes to prove that Football violence is a world wide problem, although you don’t normally get you local football hooligan throwing rocks and hitting each other with bamboo” (CozmicTV).

Video added to YouTube: February 3, 2009

The U.K.’s Great Football Giveaway Delivers 2,250 Soccer Balls to Zambia

The Great Football Giveaway in Zambia (3:26)

The Great Football Giveaway visited Zambia last October and November to deliver 2250 footballs (well, soccer balls to some) to schools and community centers across the country.

The U.K.based organization explains its mission this way, “No kid should be denied the chance to kick a ball about. It’s one of life’s most simple pleasures. So that’s what we’re here for. To get sports equipment direct into the hands or feet of some of the world’s most disadvantaged kids. … Every tenner (ie, 10 British pounds) you give is converted into a brand new football, pump & spare valves and hand delivered direct to kids in schools, orphanages or even just by the side of the road” (The Great Football Giveaway).

Video added to YouTube: January 27, 2009

In South Africa, “Street Soccer” is Being Used to Reach Kids That Live on the Streets

From Us With Love – Street Soccer (4:27)

From Us With Love is working with the Western Cape Street Soccer League in South Africa to regain trust and change a street person’s life through sport. The league uses soccer as a means of involving children and youth that live, work and sleep on the streets in positive activities that will assist them in moving off the streets to better lives (From Us With Love).

Video added to YouTube: January 15, 2009