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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.

Read the full story.

“Waste Not” proves to be a winning formula for Ohio State: BTN LiveBIG

Big Ten Network
By John Tolley

Image Source: Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Image Source: Big Ten Network, Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Ah, the sights and sounds of a college football game: the roar of cheering fans, the quarterback’s calls, the precision formation of that big brass band, the face paint, the foam fingers, the… garbage.

Yes, of course, for all the fun, live sporting events are a messy affair. At the end of the day, trashcans overflow with nacho trays and discarded programs, the seats and aisles are littered with peanut shells and sticky soda cups and the municipal dump groans under the weight of another heavy load.

But this common scenario could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a nationwide initiative called the GameDay Recycling Challenge. The program pits colleges and universities across the US against each other in an effort to see which school can reduce, recycle or otherwise divert the largest amount of their stadium waste away from landfills.

For the sixth consecutive year, The Ohio State University has led the Big Ten in the competition, diverting the largest single-game amount of waste in 2017 with 94.2 percent of stadium refuse kept out of the dump.

Speaking to the Ohio State news service, Tony Gillund, sustainability manager for Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), says that the GameDay Challenge is indicative of the Buckeyes’ larger commitment to reducing their ecological footprint.

“We are proud that the efforts of our zero-waste team continue to deliver positive results,” said Gillund. “Sustainability is a focus campus-wide as we work toward our university goals, including achieving zero waste on campus by 2025.”

At Ohio Stadium, a variety of steps, from maximizing compostable and recyclable materials used to installing zero waste stations, have been taken to ensure that the lowest amount of refuse possible is sent to area landfills. During games, 35 area high school students are employed to educate fans about how to properly dispose of their trash. Afterwards, the Ohio State Navy ROTC combs the stands collecting and sorting the detritus.

Read the full story.

Zero Waste at Michigan Stadium

Michigan Athletics

2017 Recap of Waste Diversion at Michigan Stadium

2018.02.14-Michigan Stadium Waste-IMAGE

Photo Source: Michigan Athletics

After joining a University of Michigan sustainability initiative in 2015, U-M Athletics reached the industry standard for zero waste with over a 90 percent diversion rate during the Rutgers game. For the season Michigan averaged a diversion rate of 88.17 percent.

2018.02.14-Michigan Stadium Waste-IMAGE

Image Source: Zero Waste at Michigan State

Game Day Efforts at Michigan Stadium

  • New Signage: In the summer of 2017, the U-M athletic department worked with the Office of Campus Sustainability on campus to create new signage that fit the Planet Blue branding staff and students see all across campus.
  • Compost: Nearly all food and beverage containers were compostable in 2017.
  • Recycling: Fans once again had the option to purchase souvenir concession items that were recyclable along with water bottles and plastic containers.

The new signage was placed on every waste win and on walls or posts throughout the concourse and inside the stadium suites to help educate fans on where to place their waste items.

A complete list of products and which category they fall under can be found here.

The waste totals for each game were based on waste collected inside the stadium gates only. Waste collected outside the stadium did not factor in to the yearly totals.

Where does the waste go?
Bags of waste are collected throughout the game and taken to dumpsters located in the corners of the stadium. On the Sunday mornings following each home game, a cleanup crew comes in and sorts the remaining waste items in the stadium bowl before it is all hauled off to centers for compost, recycling or landfill.

Sunday Morning Clean ups

Cleanup Crew: Over 400 volunteers from Father Gabriel Richard High School meet at Michigan Stadium. The volunteers check in and collect various items such as leafblowers, rakes, brooms and trash bags to clean the stadium bowl. Informational tables are set up on the concourse to educate the volunteers on which items are compostable, recyclable or landfill.

Read the full Photo Recap and Press Release.

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