In an on-going effort to advocate the importance of sportsmanship, Boston-based New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. is launching a multi-faceted kids program that will kick-off in early 2005. The program will include an in-school curriculum, a back-to-school retail promotion, and a contest challenging students to submit their definition of sportsman-like habits. The initiative will conclude in March of 2006 with the winners of the contest being treated to a New Balance Kids Sportsman ‘Ship’ themed cruise vacation.

In-School Curriculum
New Balance will kick off the Sportsmanship Initiative with an in-school curriculum which will include teacher-led classroom activities and student-geared newsletters that address concepts such as fairness, encouragement, and respect through a series of physical and mental challenges. Parent-geared newsletters will also be distributed to educate them on how to role model appropriate behavior for their children.

Back-to-School Promotion
New Balance will continue the program in the fall with a Back-to-School promotion. Consumers who purchase a pair of New Balance Kids shoes from select participating retailers will receive a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids that will be wrapped with information about sportsmanship, fair play, and the New Balance Sportsmanship Award.

Sportsman ‘Ship’ Contest
Throughout the New Balance Sportsmanship program, students will learn habits of fair play, respect, and encouragement as defined by Dr. Darrell Burnett, author of the article, “Teaching Youngsters How to Be Good Sports.” Dr. Burnett outlines 10 habits of good sportsmanship and students will be challenged to define an 11 th habit and give reasons to support its inclusion. The six best submissions from each of the eight age categories (5-12 years-of-age) will be chosen for a total of forty-eight winners.

The winners will receive a journey for three on the New Balance Kids Sportsman ‘Ship’ themed cruise. The three-day, three-night cruise will set sail on March 2, 2006--National Sportsmanship Day--and the winners will be honored at a dinner ceremony. The cruise will be packed with games and challenges, and clinics for kids and parents – all centered on the topic of sportsmanship.

Entries will be accepted (via online and
mail submissions) during the months January through August 2005 and the winners will be announced during September 2005.

To learn more about the program, click HERE.