Athletes and Nike Join Together To Inspire Aboriginal Youth to Create Positive Social Change Through Sport
VANCOUVER, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - Nike today announced the expansion of its N7 Program to Aboriginal communities in Canada. For over 10 years, the N7 Program has provided youth with access to sport in Native American communities across the U.S. through grants, surface donations, product creation and sport opportunities. The program's expansion creates a comprehensive community program for Native American and Aboriginal populations in North America that will include access to product and support for community organizations that bring sport and physical activity to youth.
To make the announcement, Nike General Manager for N7 Sam McCracken and N7 Creative Director Wilson Smith were joined by Four Host First Nations CEO Tewanee Joseph and Aboriginal athletes representing winter and field sports, First Nation 2010 Canadian Olympic Snowboarder Caroline Calve and Six Nations Lacrosse team defender Sid Smith.
"Nike is proud to announce our commitment to help unleash the power of sport in Aboriginal youth as we grow the Nike N7 program into Canada," said Sam McCracken, N7 General Manager. "Involvement in sports and physical activity leads to greater self-confidence, enabling youth to be a force for positive change in their communities. N7 stands for our belief that everybody leaves a footprint and can make a difference in their life and community, now and for generations to come."
"Right across this country our communities are filled with many gifted athletes. What has been too often lacking in the past was the proper support to nurture their talents. It is encouraging to see Nike working with Aboriginal people across the country to help our youth reach for their goals," said Tewanee Joseph, CEO of the Four Host First Nations. "Whether the goal is to become an elite athlete or just to lead a healthy active life, our hope is that we continue making positive changes for generations to come."
Nike N7 Access to Product
Through the Nike N7 program, Native American and Aboriginal Health 0rganizations, centers and communities can access Nike product at reduced cost via nike.net to provide inspiration for health promotion and disease prevention. The Nike Air Native N7, designed to the specialized fit needs of the Native American foot, is also available through nike.net. More than 360 Native American communities participate in the program. In Canada, there are currently 15 Aboriginal communities who are signed up through a pilot program that began in Sept. 2009. Communities can connect to the program at www.niken7.com.
Nike N7 Fund
The N7 Fund provides grants and product donations to community organizations committed to helping Native American and Aboriginal youth unleash their potential through sport. The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors and reviews grant applications on an annual basis. The first grant cycle was completed in the Spring of 2009, with three $25,000 grants awarded to the Native American Basketball Invitation Foundation, the Notah Begay III Foundation for its Youth Soccer Program and Yellow Bird Inc. for the Fort Robinson Outbreak Spiritual Run. Aboriginal community organizations are now able to apply for product and cash grants from the Nike N7 Fund.
Nike N7 Retail Collection
The Nike N7 collection includes performance footwear for the general consumer and is designed with the environment and the future of Native American and Aboriginal communities in mind. The collection is designed with cues from Native American culture and embodies Nike's Considered Design ethos. The intent of the collection is to raise awareness beyond Native American and Aboriginal communities for the N7 Program and the N7 Fund. The Summer 2010 collection launches in Canada and the U.S. on June 21, 2010 and includes the N7 Nike Zoom BB II Low Trash (Men's), N7 Nike Free 5.0 V4 (Men's and Women's) and N7 Nike Sport Freedom-Lite (Kids and Toddler). The first collection launched in the U.S. in November 2009.
Nike will also join with Four Host First Nations CEO Tewanee Joseph and over 300 youth leaders representing Aboriginal communities across Canada to celebrate their personal commitment to bringing sport and positive change to their communities and Nike's support of the Vancouver 2010 Youth Legacy Fund. Nike kicked off its support of Aboriginal communities in January by providing new sports equipment to 20 remote Northern communities through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce Northern Outreach Project.
Nike has worked closely with Native American communities across the United States for more than 10 years to provide access to product and support for sport programs. GM Sam McCracken of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes developed the concept for the program in 1998 as a way to provide inspiration and access to the brand to encourage physically active lifestyles. Nike signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Health Services in 2003, and again in 2009 as a commitment to continue to bring inspiration and innovation to Native American communities in the spirit of health and wellness.
For more information and imagery of the Summer 2010 Nike N7 collection, visit www.nikemedia.com.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned Nike subsidiaries include Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand. For more information, visit www.nikebiz.com
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/
SOURCE Nike Canada Ltd.
For further information: For further information: Melanie Dulos, Cathy Mitchell, APEX Public Relations Inc., Office: (416) 924-4442 (254/236), Mobile: (647) 201-8994, (416) 271-9226, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com