Sporting Goods To Go Readies For Global Expansion

Sporting Goods To Go Readies For Global Expansion

Sporting Goods To Go Readies For Global Expansion

By: Daryl MarplesWebsite: http://www.fitness-equipment-101.com

Sporting Goods To Go Readies For Global Expansion

It’s an unprecedented level of global sports philanthropy and social responsibility. And, it’s called Sporting Goods To Go. On July 15, more than 50 organizations met in New York City to collaborate on how to use the power of sport to engage disadvantaged youth in developing countries, making sport available to all who wish to play and where humanitarian assistance is desperately needed.

Sporting Goods To Go is led by the global sports industry, international sports federations, the international Olympic community and the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), to include agencies of the United Nations, sport development organizations, like SCORE in South Africa and Right To Play, and major charities, such as World Vision, Gifts in Kind International, AmeriCares. The global effort is co-chaired by Maria Stefan (Vice President of Global Business Development, SGMA International) and Don Porter (Secretary General, General Assembly of International Sports Federations – GAISF).

The mission of Sporting Goods To Go is to build linkages between the global sports community and NGOs to facilitate the transport of donated sports equipment, people and resources to advance sport development and humanitarian capacities.

“One of the advantageous aspects of Sporting Goods To Go is the high level of support we are receiving from three of the most influential worldwide sports organizations – International Olympic Committee (President – Jacques Rogge), Association of National Olympic Committees (President – Mario Vasquez Rana), and the General Assembly of International Sports Federations (President – Dr. Un Yong Kim),” said SGMA International President John Riddle. “Sporting Goods To Go is a dynamic concept because it provides children in developing/poor countries with the opportunity to learn and participate in sports.”

“Gifts in Kind International congratulates SGMA International for its leadership in bringing together those who can truly make an impact on using sports as a method of development of the individual and the world,” said Susan Corrigan, CEO of Gifts in Kind International. “By reaching out to those without access to sports equipment and knowledge, Sporting Goods To Go makes sports within reach of everyone and the dream of a world in harmony a possibility.”

“World Vision is delighted to have a chance to give children more opportunities to participate through Sporting Goods To Go,” said Mike Lane, corporate relations officer for World Vision. “Knowing that other people care about them by donating sporting goods gives these children hope and joy.”

As a result of the New York City meeting, an executive working group has been formed to help bring sport and humanitarian interests together in support of each other’s mutual objectives. The international sport federations and national Olympic committees will work with development agencies to identify sports equipment and activity needs on a country-by-country basis.

Members of the executive working group include:

Tomas Sithole, Director of International Cooperation & Development, International Olympic Committee

Greg Harney, Director of International Affairs, U. S. Olympic Committee

Don Porter, Secretary General, GAISF and President, International Softball Federation

Ron Froehlich, Secretary Treasurer, GAISF and President, International World Games Association

Michael Kleiner, Private Secretary to the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace, Office of United Nations, Geneva

Giovanni diCola, Focal Point for Sport, Development and Peace, International Labor Organization

Mike Lane, Corporate Relations Officer, World Vision

Susan Corrigan, CEO, Gifts In Kind International

Andre Gorgemans, Secretary General, World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry

Maria Stefan, Vice President of Global Sports Development, SGMA International

The Working Group has a number of goals and objectives it will be undertaking in the coming months. They include:

Identify international sports federations and national Olympic committees with active sport development programs in developing nations;

Identify excess inventory, returns and used product available for distribution;

Identify warehouse capacity in cities around the world where international charities have excess capacity;

Develop equipment collection points and distribution targets and timelines;

Develop set of best practices so goods reach intended grassroots need and builds stronger communities;

Establish an on-line communications process to match sports development interests with humanitarian needs and a priority response system in cases of emergency situations through www.sportinggoodstogo.org (in development) practices;

Establish Sporting Goods To Go as a 501 (c3) organization to support monitoring, tracking and transporting product around the world;

Develop fundraising mechanisms to facilitate this worldwide initiative.

Since Sporting Goods To Go’s inception this past January, sporting goods manufacturers and international sports federations have worked together to ship the following:

Softball kits (gloves, helmets, bats, balls and protective equipment) to Uganda, South Africa, Zambia with shipments scheduled this fall to Georgia, Guatemala and Zimbabwe. These softball kits were secured from the International Softball Federation and SGMA International softball manufacturers.

There is an on-going airlift to Afghanistan and Iraq. Thousands of water bottles, softballs, athletic footwear, t-shirts, fingerweights, table tennis equipment, volleyball equipment, exercise rings, and soccer gear (goals, balls, and shinguards) have been sent. Corporate donors include: Fingerweight, Gregory Packs, JKP Sports, Markwort, Metro Run, Mitre Sports, Pugg Sports, New Balance, Schutt Sports, Safe-T-Gard, SuperFlight.

The next meeting of Sporting Goods To Go partners will be in Orlando, Florida at The Super Show in January of 2004.

SGMA International, owner of The Super Show®, is the global business trade association of manufacturers, retailers and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA International fosters industry growth and advances members'' interests through market research, communications, public policy, sports promotion, and international business development programs.

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