I met Dean Doeling in person for the first time yesterday afternoon at Morgan’s Mango, where he hosted a small gathering to talk about his project, Using Sports for Social Change.
Dean, who has been a frequent visitor to St. John, tell of an incident that he witnessed on one of his trips to the island when he, “noticed that the kids were outside playing with a (one) flat soccer ball and also noticed that the basketball hoops did not have nets on them, and some were not even usable. Maybe they didn’t even have basketballs to play with.”
It was true, the kids often didn’t have basketballs to play with. From speaking with St. John residents, Dean heard that the Schools on St. John were lacking in equipment and that the prevailing opinion was that they were not optimistic about the prospect of government support.
Thus, an idea and a project was born. As Dean’s position is Senior Production Artist at Nike Corporation, he felt that he could use Nike as a resource to supply St. John schools as well as other sports and fitness programs with equipment to play with.
This month, Dean’s organization, Using Sports for Social Change, was instrumental in getting Nike to send an assortment of 100 basketballs, footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs to St. John where they will be distributed by Paul Devine, the director of the St. John Community Foundation.
Another example of Dean’s work is the donation of new Nike softball gloves for use in the Ruby Rutnik Memorial Softball Tournament.
Good work Dean!