- Language Tips
Dwight Howard, basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, shoots hoops with students at the Changning Primary Vocational School of Shanghai. Provided to China Daily
Company asked NBA superstar Dwight Howard to shoot hoops with the children
The adidas Group Greater China built a playground in Chanjiayan Central Kindergarten in Shaanxi province on Nov 19, a move designed to aid the development of rural children in the country.
The playground is part of the company's Play Child Development Program, which has helped more than 4,000 children in Shaanxi province over the past three years to develop key skills such as collaboration and better communication through sport and play-based activities.
"Seeing the positive impact we've made and the thousands of children who are healthier, happier and more confident as a result of our efforts is what drives this company's dedication to supporting child development," said Colin Currie, managing director of adidas Group, Greater China. "This year's trip to Shaanxi province is particularly special. For the first time, customers will be taking part in this important cause, sharing adidas' vision and passion of using sport to drive positive change in the community."
Over the last three years, the company has supported 12 early childcare development centers in Shaanxi province, including a mobile education center, and the program has helped 4,898 children who regularly participate in play-based development activities. In addition, 138 teachers and 821 parents and health workers have participated in training programs established by adidas.
Announced in 2008 and in partnership with the Right to Play, the adidas Right to Play Child Development Program is the company's flagship charity program, targeting rural children's development in Ningqiang county in Shaanxi province. Originally established in response to the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 as a disaster relief effort component, it evolved into a comprehensive program that features a local trainer network, policy advocacy and a critical evaluation system to measure its success and progress.
"Adidas has a proven community investment model that benefits child development and we are thrilled that our partnership has benefited thousands of children from Shaanxi over the years," said Wei Wei, national director of Right to Play China.
In August this year, the German sportswear company, held in partnership with the non-profit organization Half the Sky Foundation, invited NBA superstar Dwight Howard to shoot hoops and share stories with the special needs students at Changning Primary Vocational School of Shanghai.
Most recently, adidas partnered with Half the Sky Foundation to launch the adidas Special Youth Program, a tailor-made program designed to help disabled children and retired athletes through a common love for sports. The adidas Special Youth Program also partners with non-profit organization Champions Foundation to help retired athletes move into jobs.
"As a leading sportswear brand in China, it's important that we leverage our strengths and resources to drive positive change in the community. From the adidas Special Youth Coaching Program to the adidas Right to Play Child Development Program, we have a proven community investment model which supports child development in China," said Currie.
"This latest event reaffirms our commitment to giving back and we're honored to have Dwight Howard join us in our latest initiative."
Joined by adidas employees, Howard spent the day shooting hoops, mentoring and coaching children and sharing stories about his time with the NBA as well as his most important values, such as passion and hard work.
During his last trip to China last year, Howard launched the adidas Migrant Children's Program where play and sports activities provide life skills to migrant children, increasing their chances of integrating into urban communities.
"China holds a special place in my heart and, when I am able to visit, I make it a priority to spend some time with the local children," said Howard.
"This country has embraced me with open arms and I want to show my gratitude with adidas' help by giving back to the community. Shooting hoops and spending the day with these amazing kids has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience."
Adidas launched its Migrant Children's Program in September last year with Dwight Howard.
In addition, adidas organizes its annual adidas Run for Love program, an event that brings together employees and their friends and families to raise money for the company's numerous charitable initiatives.
(China Daily 12/10/2012 page22)