Shanghai, China, August 21, 2011 — Four days of sport activities and competitions including basketball, skateboarding, golf and running came to a close today at Nike’s Festival of Sport. The inaugural festival drew more than 100,000 participants who had the chance to shoot hoops, skate a custom-built indoor park and run against friends in treadmill challenges. As part of the company’s commitment to put sports within reach of all young people across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Nike renovated several basketball courts at Shanghai Stadium. The completely refurbished facilities — six full courts, one half court, three pavilions and one kids’ court — are outfitted with lights and awnings to provide players with year-round access.
The Festival of Sport capped Nike’s months-long effort to bring sports opportunities to communities across China. “Kids throughout China have a passion for sports and it’s our responsibility to make it easier for them to play,” said Craig Cheek, Vice President and General Manager of Nike Greater China. “It is important to go where kids are, not just in Shanghai and Beijing, but to cities like Xian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. Our message to young people everywhere is the same: Use the positive influence of sports to transform your life and achieve your goals.”
Qualifying teams and individuals from earlier events this summer won berths to the finals at the festival. Twenty-one basketball teams, 16 football clubs and 42 individual skateboarders competed at Shanghai Stadium and received personal coaching from top basketball players Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyrie Irving, and from action sports athletes Paul Rodriguez, Omar Salazar, Eric Koston and Shane O’Neil. Women’s Nike Training Club sessions proved popular, attracting more than 1,000 young athletes each day. Track and field superstar Liu Xiang stopped by for a quick round of Training Club cardio and set a high bar at the treadmill faceoff challenge.
To equip aspiring athletes with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed, this summer Nike, in partnership with the China Youth Development Foundation, launched the mentorship program GameChangers. In GameChangers, select university students receive training to serve as volunteer coaches and mentors for disadvantaged schoolchildren across China. LeBron James helped train the first 100 of 1,000 recruited GameChangers coaches during his recent visit to China.