The New Brand…

March 05, 2012

As I think what to write about in each week’s blog, I am inclined to continue to share our journey to our new brand–versus any sport specific industry related information. As we work daily to continue to promote our mission of creating opportunities and transforming the lives of our athletes, it seems that there is also an element of continuing to educate all our stakeholders about the culture of Sportable.

The building blocks of the Sportable brand are as follows:

Freeing our athletes to see beyond their disabilities
Building peer relationships and reducing social isolation
Facilitating physical and attitudinal change in our community

This is the promise we make to you-our constituencies, which includes our athletes, volunteers, partners, sponsors,volunteers, Board of Directors, and  staff.  How we operate and everything we do  is based off the road map developed to support the maintenance of brand pillars ( building blocks).

The best part of my role at Sportable, is that not only do I get to lead the charge in way of strategy and developing or fine tuning our road map, but more importantly, I get to witness first hand the results of our work.

It may seem as though much of my focus has been on the 10k training team in the past month and perhaps you are right.  I think this is in a large way due to the fact that this one program and subsequent event encompasses ALL of the building blocks of the new Sportable brand.

On any Saturday morning at 730a at Sports Backers Stadium, you will find a group of dedicated athletes , supported by some of the best volunteers, who have set a goal and are working as a TEAM to achieve that goal.  There are many personal stories circling that track–one of our juniors basketball players who is training to not only race in the Ukrops Monument 10k but, 13.1 miles at Shamrock Half Marathon with his mom and sisters.  How amazing to see him realize his potential, speeding around that track with his sisters ( avid runners themselves) doing their best to keep up.  Not to mention how cool it is for Mom and Dad to witness their 3 children “playing” together!!

On day 1 of our training there was a lot of uncertainty around how well the team would do.  Many of our athletes had not trained previously in a racing chair or with a prosthetic running leg  and we  ( as staff) even wondered if the equipment we had would work for everyone’s varying needs.  It was soon apparent that this opportunity would work, because it was just that–an opportunity some of them had never had before.  There was a need and we were able to fill it and do so in a way that was by definition reducing the social isolation that too often people with physical disabilities face in sports environments. This group of athletes very soon became a TEAM–supporting each other with each lap and each athlete and volunteer can be certain of the importance of their role.

To close, on “Race Day”, a portion of the Sportable team will be part of the 1st official Wheelchair Division in the Ukrops Monument 10k–“Wave AA”!! We will also have a slew of orange shirts in support of our sole amputee runner…the “Godmother” of the program in many respects.  I am certain that as a result of this one event–we will capture the attention of the Greater Richmond community and the 42k participants… laying the ground work for the physical and attitudinal change that is so needed in our community!!