Here at Londonist Towers we're not unused to receiving news of strongly branded sporting initiatives that don't always impress us on closer inspection, but there is something that appeals to us about a "collaborative competition" recently set up by a well-known manufacturer of sports equipment whose name rhymes with "sprike". Gamechangers:
...aims to find innovative solutions and catalyze a community of changemakers around the use of sport to improve community, accelerate development and drive social change for girls and women.
Alright, we almost refused at that first hurdle, but reading on we discovered that, more succinctly, the idea is to invite nominations of innovative sporting programs for women and/or girls that "use sport to improve community, accelerate development and drive social change."
Several London-based organisations are already entered, including Brixton's Ebony Horse Club which provides riding for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, the London Tigers centre for young females offering indoor leisure and educational activities particularly to Bangladeshi and Arab women, the Coach-Ability programme designed to provide disabled people with the opportunity to take up a career in sports coaching and Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust's buggy walks program in Holland Park aimed especially at single mothers which combines walking with body conditioning. The organisers hope that the competition entrants will form an online community to discuss their different approaches and improve each others' programs.
Nominations will be "beyond the stage of idea, concept, or research, and, at a minimum, are at the demonstration stage and indicate success." Although the final deadline is in February, nominators are encouraged to register their nominees early as there are chances in December and January to win camera and video equipment for a presentation that will be hosted on the site. Nike judges will eventually choose 10-15 finalists from which all the entrants will vote for the three programs that will win $5,000 each.
Picture of a horse and rider in Hyde Park via garryknight's Flickr stream.