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Mayor Richard M. Daley welcomed more than 700 leaders from the worlds of sport, business, philanthropy and government to Chicago for the Beyond Sport Summit 2010, designed to promote the use of sport as a tool for positive social change.
“We view the Beyond Sport Summit as an important vehicle for driving forward social change led by sport and I am pleased to re-affirm Chicago’s continued commitment to that effort,” Daley said at a welcome reception held at the United Center.
The Summit takes place September 29-30 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
At the reception, the Mayor announced the winner of the United Airlines Chicago Impact Award, given to the best sports project in the city as voted for by the general public. The winner was chosen from these finalists:
- Bitty Ball, Beyond the Ball: Located in Little Village, this program targets youth from kindergarten to second grade, using basketball to teach personal and social responsibility.
- Non-Violence Youth Boxing Program, Carroll Care Center: Located in East Garfield Park, this program focuses on reducing gang crime and participation through a combination of boxing training, life skills workshops and innovative recreation schemes.
- Spring Training, Girls in the Game: Located citywide,Girls in the Game’s approach includes weekly, year-round programming for elementary school girls, following a structure of sports, health education, and leadership activities.
- Squash as a Catalyst for Higher Education, METROsquash: In this program, which reaches youth in Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Washington Park and Bronzeville, students spend more than four hours per week focusing on homework completion, test preparation and high school and college readiness.
- West Haven Sports Club, Near West Side Community Development Corporation: the West Haven Sports Club’s number one priority is tackling youth violence on the West Side through sports programs.
Daley said one of the great long-term benefits that came out of Chicago’s Olympic efforts was the creation of World Sport Chicago, which serves to expand the awareness of and participation in sports across Chicago by young people.
Over the past three years, World Sport Chicago has worked with community groups, the school system and the park district to create new programs, launch a scholarship program, bring sporting events to the city, train coaches and explore creative ways of using sport to reduce youth violence.
Last summer, Daley announced that World Sport Chicago will use $6 million raised from the business community for the Olympic bid to provide summer activities for Chicago young people.
“Those activities kept our children positively occupied and out of harm’s way and taught them the critical values we learn from sports,” Daley said.
“Tonight we celebrate some of the outstanding community sports programs we have in our city. We honor organizations that are committed to the values of dedication, fair play, fitness and self-confidence. With them, we believe that sport for young people should be a national priority,” he said.
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