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NBA Launches Wide Scale Community Efforts Ahead Of 2018 NBA All-Star Game

Ruling Sports
Alicia Jessop

2018.02.16.NBA All Star-IMAGE

Image Source: Ruling Sports

For basketball fans, the NBA All-Star Game means seeing top competitors in the sport go head-to-head in competition. Despite the level of play on the court, though, some of the most impactful moments of the 2018 NBA All-Star weekend will happen off of it.

Over the four days leading up to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, 3,000 NBA volunteers will engage in community service activities in the Los Angeles area during over 30 outreach programs. The activities are wide reaching, ranging from hospital visits to food packing for the needy, but inclusivity is a central theme of the NBA’s 2018 endeavors.

Highlighted in this year’s community efforts is the NBA’s new platform, NBA Voices. Meant to address social injustice and bridge divides in communities, the platform will be used during All-Star weekend to facilitate conversations between youth, community leaders and law enforcement about challenges their communities face and how to build trust amongst each other. On Thursday, in partnership with Brotherhood Crusade–one of two Los Angeles based nonprofits selected to receive a donation of either $150,000 or $350,000 depending on the outcome of the All-Star Game–players will join in on the conversation on how to spark change and build trust.

Along with conversations, the NBA is using playing basketball as a conduit to facilitate bridge building between communities and law enforcement. In partnership with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality–founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross–the NBA and Under Armour will bring members of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro LA together with Los Angeles Police Department officers to play basketball and in turn, learn leadership skills meant to spur candid dialogue as part of the Los Angeles Building Bridges Through Basketball program.

A notable inclusion in the NBA’s community programming during the 2018 NBA All-Star weekend is a focus on opportunities and inclusion for LGBTQ individuals. The Jr. NBA has partnered with Athlete Ally, an organization focused on ending homophobia and transphobia in sport, to host a Coaches Forum. Along with the Positive Coaching Alliance, A Call to Men and the Human Rights Campaign, the organizations will present education to 100 Los Angeles area coaches on how to develop young athletes and character. Main focuses of the program will be teamwork, diversity and inclusion.

A highlight for many fans during NBA All-Star weekend is the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Game. On Saturday fans will have the opportunity to watch 12 international Special Olympics athletes compete alongside NBA and WNBA players in a fast-paced engaging game fully involving everyone on the court.

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The House of Green Goes Green

London Knights

2018.02.07-House of Green-IMAGE

On Saturday, February 10th the Spectra Venue Management team at Budweiser Gardens will launch its first ‘Green’ event when the London Knights face off against the Sudbury Wolves.  “Over the last year, there has been a conscious effort by our team at Budweiser Gardens to evaluate our practices and procedures and look for ways that we can implement environmentally responsible practices.” Said Brian Ohl, General Manager of Budweiser Gardens. “This game will give us a great opportunity to share with the community some of the significant work that has been done and it is our hope that this will become an annual game while also adding additional Green events where possible.”

Spectra Venue Management has teamed up with the London Transit Commission to offer fans coming to the game the opportunity to ride on LTC busses for FREE beginning at 5pm and running through the end of service. Each fan will need to present a valid ticket for that night’s game to gain entry onto the bus. “We are grateful that the LTC has stepped up to work with us on this great initiative and provide the 9.000 plus fans coming for the game the opportunity to ride free of charge and reduce carbon emissions” said Ohl.

Each save that the Knight’s goaltender makes during the game will count beyond just the scoreboard as Spectra and ReForest London will launch the ‘Saves for Trees’ program at the game. For every save that a Knight’s goalie makes during the game a tree will be planted as part of the Million Tree Challenge, a community-wide project with the focus of planting one million more trees for environmental and human health in London, ON. Downtown London, the official game sponsor, has also agreed to match the total and will plant an equal number of trees. Fans at the game are also encouraged to join the Saves for Trees program by sponsoring a tree for $25.00.

The City of London will also be present at the game to promote several initiatives including London’s Clean & Green program which takes place on Earth Day, April 22nd. “The support that we have received from Jay Stanford and his team at the City of London has been tremendous and we look forward to continuing to work with them on many future projects,” said Ohl.

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World Rowing Federation pledges to protect UNESCO Heritage Sites

Climate Action


Photo Source: Climate Action

The World Rowing Federation has become the first global sports body to make a commitment to protect UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The pledge comes on the back of concerns raised by the UN body about the negative impacts of sporting events to natural and historic sites.

The decision is also a result of World Rowing’s ongoing work with the conservation charity WWF to ensure sustainable water practices are used across its global events.

The federation represents 153 different organisations, including the International Olympic Committee, to govern the sport of rowing.

World Rowing’s President Jean-Christophe Rolland, said: “As rowing is a sport that is intimately connected to nature, we recognise the importance of protecting natural sites. World Rowing hopes that other international sporting organisations will follow in committing to preserve these areas of the world”.

There are a total of 1073 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rated for their significant importance to people and planet. World Rowing’s new policy will apply to the 241 sites listed under both natural and mixed. It says that the venues it currently uses “do not impact directly on World Heritage sites”, but new guidelines will enforce a commitment to prevent any indirect impacts on buffer zones.

“UNESCO welcomes this landmark decision,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the body’s World Heritage Centre. “We look forward to other sport federations and organizations in charge of large sports events, such as the International Olympic Committee, also taking on a similar commitment and putting such policies into practice.”

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