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Play to Win

A spring initiative from New Balance encourages children to get healthy through fun.

New Balance_Spark Start_NY2Recess time! This spring, New Balance baseball athletes, led by Curtis Granderson, will inspire more than 1,000 children in six cities around the country to track their physical activity during recess games designed to encourage movement, healthy play and teamwork. The six-week challenge will be led in each participating school by Playworks coaches, teachers and supporters who believe in the power of play. After kicking off the program at PS 133, the William A. Butler School, in Brooklyn last week, Granderson will use his Instagram channel, @cgrand3, to invite his fellow Team NB athletes to accept the challenge and visit a school in their team’s home city.

Picking up the challenge in different cities across the country will be Team NB athletes Xander Bogaerts (Boston), A.J. Ellis (Los Angeles), Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and Maikel Franco (Philadelphia). Each athlete will visit a local school to introduce the New Balance Fitness Challenge, get the children excited to participate and join in some of their Playworks recess activities. At the end of the challenge, each student will receive a pair of New Balance shoes to encourage them to stay healthy and active throughout the summer.

New Balance_Spark Start_Bos2“We are so excited to launch the New Balance SparkStart Fitness Challenge this year in a way that will inspire children to stay active and also teach them about the power of positive leadership and teamwork,” explains Mark Cavanaugh, GM of New Balance sports marketing. “Our Team NB athletes around the country are excellent role models for these young people and will help motivate participants to discover what motivates them to be physically active.”

“Everyone at Playworks is delighted to be collaborating with our longtime sponsor New Balance on the SparkStart Fitness Challenge. New Balance athlete visits are inspiring and help us get kids in our participating schools moving in a healthy and active way,” echos Playworks CEO Jill Vialet. “Together with New Balance, our coaches and school communities will give their energy and support to mentor and motivate children to achieve physical goals, be adventurous, and work together.”

The July 2024 Issue

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