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Posts Tagged “Using Sports For Social Change”

I woke up yesterday morning to a heavy squall, thunder and lightning. I was looking forward to taking my son, Jacob, to the big Just Play happening at the Sprauve School ballpark. I was hoping that the weather would improve and wondering if the event would be canceled.

Meanwhile the organizer of the event, Dean Doeling, was probably also hoping that the weather would improve, but there was no way that he was going to consider cancellation. Like the US Post Office motto, “neither rain, sleet, snow or gloom of night” was going to keep Just Play from happening.

The weather did improve and Jacob and I made it down to the ball field just in time for the singing of the National Anthems and the Virgin Islands March.

As it turned out, despite the muddy field, the first annual Just Play event was a resounding success. It was just plain fun! You could see it on the faces of everyone there, not only the kids, but also the organizers and volunteers, were having a blast.

The kids were separated into age groups for competitions like the 50 Yard Dash, Football Throw, Soccer Kick For Accuracy, Obstacle Course, Dodge Ball, Tug Of War, Relay Soccer Race and  Kick Ball.

In addition to the games there was music, demonstrations, prizes, free gifts, food and drinks.

Just Play was organized and supported by Sport for Social Change, Nike, the St. John Community Foundation, the Virgin Islands Department of Housing, Parks and Recreation as well as by several local businesses.

The youth (of all ages) of St. John will be looking forward to next years replay.

Way to go, Dean! Thank you!

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PRESS  RELEASE

Sports Banquet- Friday June 5th 6:00 p.m. at JESS School in the cafeteria on St. John.  Students from 3 St. John Schools will be recognized for their participation in sporting programs and awards will be given. This banquet will highlight the positive side of the sporting programs here on St. John in lieu of the recent cancellations of sporting programs on St. Thomas. There are a lot of individuals and groups making sure our kids have a safe and enjoyable time playing sports here on St. John.  Many programs are now in place and more will occur during the summer months.  Contact Lecia Richmond at 626-1871 for more info.

USFSC- using sports for social change, a local St. John group will be in attendance and will distribute sporting balls to the 3 schools present. Nike, in conjunction with benefactor Dean Doeling, a senior design production Artist for Nike, has been sending sporting balls and equipment to St. John for our local youth. The intent of this group is to assist any sporting programs that are all ready in place and to donate sporting equipment to them and our schools and to our youth. To date there have been over 230 sporting balls shipped to St. John, many are still in route. The first donation from USFSC was 20 baseball gloves to the Ruby Rutnik Softball Tournament this year which afterwards distributed them to 3 various schools. Some fun events for our youth are also in the planning for early October. Please contact me, info below, or Dean Doeling at Nike, 503-532-6756  for further info.

Thank you and Be Well

Luigi Costello
Cell: 340-344-5492
vioveg@mac.com

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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!

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