If you are a regular reader of this blog, by now you know that NBA All-Star Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks is a huge UNICEF supporter. We’ve worked closely with Tyson and the NBA this year on a number of initiatives that support UNICEF’s mission of creating a world where ZERO children are [...]
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First, he led the Knicks to the team’s first division title in nearly two decades. Then, after winning gold at the London Olympics, Tyson Chandler brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children during a UNICEF field visit to Tanzania.
Back in New York, Tyson focused his energies on advocating for UNICEF and assisting our fundraising efforts. That included donating time spent with him at a Knicks practice, for the 2012 Snowflake Ball auction. The Hess family were the lucky winners, and they came together a few weeks ago to spend the day with Tyson. And though they are Knicks season-ticket holders, they had never experienced anything like this.
In this second week of the Olymic Games, we wanted to let you know about a global sports program for children that has been taking place in conjunction with the Olympics. It’s called International Inspiration and is the result of a pledge that Seb Coe, who led London’s bid for the Olympics, made when London was chosen to host the 2012 Games: to connect children to the transformative power that the Games have and inspire them to play sports and improve their lives as a result. The program’s mission is simple: Bring sports to 12 million children in 20 countries. And that’s not the only way that UNICEF is connected to the Olympics. The NBA, a long-time supporter of UNICEF’s work, is well represented at this year’s Games.
Sports fans, rejoice: Today marks the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games! My family and I are definitely going to spend the next two weeks gathered around the TV—and we’re not even big sports fans. But that’s what makes the Olympics so special: they’re not just about athletic achievement. The games are an expression of global unity and a celebration of human endurance.
UNICEF knows all about the power and importance of sports, especially in a child’s life, and uses sports in very targeted ways to improve the lives of children.
Our friends at Major League Soccer are big Believers in Zero, and help spread the word about the effort to bring the number of preventable deaths each day among children under five from 22,000 to ZERO. Five star keepers have united to put Zero front and center for soccer fans. The Red Bulls’ Bouna Coundoul, Earthquakes’ Jon Busch, FC Dallas’ Kevin Hartman, Chivas USA’s Zach Thornton, and Kasey Keller of the Seattle Sounders are carrying the ZERO message to stadiums and screens across the country with their new PSA informing fans of the challenge of child survival, and inviting fans to share our goal of ending preventable child deaths.
On the pitch we will compete to win in this fierce competition. But off the pitch we each stand united in a common cause – our responsibility to help the most disadvantaged and hardest to reach children, through our partnerships with UNICEF…as Managers, we are both proud to have some of the world’s greatest supporters but we are equally proud that both of our clubs support UNICEF in its work for the world’s children. This incredible organization relies of support and donations from across the board, so we’d like to thank all of our players and fans who have helped us to help children.”