The Finish Line, Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) and its Finish Line Youth Foundation announced today a multi-year pledge to support Special Olympics as part of the retailer’s ongoing mission to celebrate the everyday achievements of athletes everywhere.
Finish Line will support Special Olympics through multiple opportunities, including:
• Employee activation and volunteer participation in 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games in Indiana as well as the Chicago and Atlanta markets in year one and additional markets nationwide in coming years.
• Serving as the first national sponsor of Special Olympics’ new TRAIN program—a first of its kind sports assessment and nutrition education program designed to help athletes stay active, stay healthy, and achieve their personal best. In addition to helping to finance the program, Finish Line employees will help activate the TRAIN program for Special Olympics athletes in key markets.
• Sale of specific merchandise in Finish Line’s more than 635 stores and online nationwide beginning with the 2012 back-to-school shopping season to benefit Special Olympics.
• An in-store and online holiday season customer and employee donation program to benefit Special Olympics.
“Finish Line has always supported worthy non-profit organizations, yet we searched for some time to identify a single signature cause that our employees, customers, and vendors could help us rally around in a meaningful way and make an enduring impact,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Lyon. “Special Olympics is the one organization that our customers and employees cited in recent independent research as a cause that they are not only passionate about, but that also suits our brand particularly well. Finish Line is all about having fun, being active, and helping everyone reach their own finish line, whether it means competing as a Special Olympics athlete or playing college intramurals. The added opportunity to be the only national sponsor of the TRAIN program is exciting as this is a true breakthrough in assessing, developing and tracking sports skills among individuals with intellectual disabilities. This program will contribute to the overall health, fitness and quality of life for individuals with intellectual disabilities and we are thrilled to help take it to the next level through our support.”
“This partnership is a great fit for us,” said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. “We are a sports organization and Finish Line is a great sports brand with a passion to celebrate the achievements of athletes everywhere. Their mission is a testament to the power of what Special Olympics athletes have shown time and time again – that we are all true champions and each of us has the ability to reach our own personal best. Finish Line’s commitment to supporting our athletes with intellectual disabilities will be a tremendous asset as we continue to work to promote acceptance and inclusion for all people.”
TRAIN-Special Olympics’ First National Effort to Collect and Track Data on Sports Skills among Those with Intellectual Disabilities
TRAIN (Testing Recreational Activities and Improving Nutrition) is a new sports assessment and nutrition education program developed by Special Olympics as one response to the fact that individuals with intellectual disabilities are more likely to develop a sedentary lifestyle, yet have the same fitness capacities and needs as those without a disability. A TRAIN assessment takes place when Special Olympics athletes complete a variety of fun physical fitness challenges at designated stations, such as the 10-meter run, the vertical leap, and balance test. Each athlete’s results are captured and entered into a specially-designed computer program, which produces a report highlighting the strongest skills and pinpointing which sports the athlete may be most successful pursuing as well as skills that could be improved through regular, at-home exercise. The program also tracks data on each athlete to illustrate progress over time. TRAIN is the first comprehensive program Special Olympics has ever used to collect and track data on sports readiness skills among individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is using the data from TRAIN events to develop new scientific norms and better advice for Special Olympics athletes and coaches as they work toward being more successful in their sport as well as more fit and healthy overall.
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