BSN Sports, formerly Sport Supply Group Inc., announced a Victory Grant award to the Liberia YMCA in West Africa. The BSN Sports Victory Grant Program is providing $1,000,000 of free equipment and uniforms to school athletic programs and recreation leagues in need. The YMCA of Liberia will receive approximately $25,000 of athletic equipment, including nine weight lifting machines for multiple fitness facilities and more than 2,200 soccer balls from BSN Sports.
Facilitating the shipment is Adolphus “Doc” Lawson, a Liberian native and a long-time Dallas resident and past collegiate, Olympic, and professional U.S. Men’s soccer player. Lawson led the Dallas Sidekicks to a league championship in 1986-87. Through his organization Donami Sports, Lawson is in the initial stages of developing and implementing sports and recreation programs in his native country.
Founded in 1881, Liberia YMCA now serve over 10,000 members. With nine facilities, The YMCA of Liberia seeks to unite, develop and empower young people and others, thereby strengthening communities.
“Two civil wars have left 65 percent of Liberia’s population under the age of 19,” says Lawson. “The power of athletics and sports is enormous,” he says. “All children need safe spaces that are clean and family-friendly. The YMCA’s philosophy of promoting youth development, energizing healthy living and inspiring social responsibility is at the core of all Donami activities.” To that end, Lawson has begun a 10-year, $100 million dollar project partnering with the YMCA in Liberia, a 130 year old institution. Lawson has long been affiliated with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, and as a result he is an advocate of YMCA values.
According to Adam Blumenfeld, Chief Executive Officer of BSN Sports, this donation affirms BSN’s corporate commitment to furthering the education of youth through sports. “The YMCA is a customer of ours, so when a man as dedicated as Doc Lawson asked for help, we knew his ideals matched the goals of our Victory Grant program,” says Blumenfeld. “To build the first National Soccer Program in a country so devastated by civil war is a testament to the power of one person.”
Lawson will oversee the shipment of two 40-foot containers of sports equipment and t-shirts to Liberia later this month. “The children of Liberia will be playing soccer early next year, thanks to this generous donation from BSN Sports,” according to Lawson.
Programs nationwide are invited to apply for Victory Grant consideration via BSN Sports’ 250 local field representatives or online at www.BSNSports.com/sponsorme. Grants will be allocated on a rolling basis and are open to all organizations. Athletic programs at the elementary school level can apply for US Games Fit Funds program at www.usgames.com/sponsorme.
Founded in 1972, BSN Sports is the largest marketer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment to institutional markets in the United States. The company distributes more than 50,000 products to 125,000 institutional and team sports in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs across the country through a direct sales force, the Internet and catalogs.