Right To Play/United States/news and media/Right To Play Joins Obama’s United We Serve Initiative
For Immediate Release

Right To Play Joins Obama’s United We Serve Initiative

International organization answers call to action as part of President’s nation-wide call for a Summer of Service

NEW YORK (July 10, 2009) Right To Play International is one of 12 premier organizations that has been invited to participate in United We Serve, a national effort launched by President Barack Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer. The President initiated the project as a sustained effort to expand the size and impact of volunteer efforts in addressing tough challenges facing the nation.

As an international NGO that tackles the effects of war, poverty and disease through the power of sport and play, Right To Play is one of 12 premier organizations that were asked to take leading roles in the nation-wide project. Currently, Right To Play is the only international organization that is affiliated with the “Summer of Service” initiative. Right To Play uses the transformative power of sport and play to build essential skills in children and thereby drive social change in communities affected by war, poverty and disease. Right To Play creates a safe place for children to learn and fosters the hope that is essential for children to envision and realize a better future.

Right To Play will participate in the program by offering several volunteer positions which can be found on http://www.serve.gov/The office is seeking volunteers to work on special projects to build awareness and create marketing proposals to raise funds for the international programs. The volunteers would work directly under the guidance of the US National and Deputy Directors and receive first-hand experience in dealing with local and international organizations.


Two specific opportunities for volunteerism are:

1. Volunteer with American Olympians and Jordanian Coaches:
Right To Play has been involved in an international exchange between Jordanians and Americans initiated by Right To Play and supported by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The exchange provides an opportunity for Jordanian coaches to learn about American coaching methodologies and sport for development techniques. Activities will include coaching sessions, sports practices, workshop presentations, and outreach events. Right To Play USA is seeking volunteers to assist with the 10-day exchange, which takes place in July. Volunteers will help coordinate sessions and activities, as well as participate in the outreach events.


2. Volunteer and Be Host to International Soccer Powerhouse Chelsea Football Club:

In July, professional English football Premier League club, Chelsea FC will be part of the inaugural World Football Challenge, a six-city round robin tournament held in the United States with some of the best soccer teams in the world. As Chelsea FC’s official international charity partner, Right To Play has the unique opportunity to invite a number of youth to participate in clinics led by Chelsea team coaches in two of the cities Chelsea will be playing in, Los Angeles and Dallas. Right To Play is seeking volunteers to assist in numerous tasks during these clinics, which take place in Los Angeles from July 17th through the 20th and in Dallas on July 23, 24, and 25.


"In these tough economic times, we need volunteers more than ever,” said Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play’s President, CEO and Founder. “As we continue to expand our activities in the United States, we are facing increasing demands for community participation and support, and volunteers can help us fill this growing need. We are pleased to participate in United We Serve and thank the President for making this call to service this summer and beyond.”

Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the United We Serve initiative was officially kicked off at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco, where 4,000 service and volunteer leaders are meeting to map out strategies to increase the impact of service in solving community problems. The program will run through a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. The day will be marked by volunteer service, remembrance activities, and pledges to make service an ongoing commitment throughout the year.

The United We Serve initiative was conceived as a way to directly involve Americans in tackling problems in their communities. While any kind of volunteer service is encouraged, the effort focuses on four key areas education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.

“This summer, I'm calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation,” said President Obama in a video message during the launch. “Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington and it’s going to take all of us, working together.”

Right To Play is already engaged in several community projects across the United States, a recent example being its new partnership with Lisa Leslie of the WNBA. During the WNBA Cares Week, the Los Angeles Sparks and Right To Play hosted an event at Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson's alma mater, Morningside High School. Students learned some of Right To Play’s games and were shown basketball drills first-hand from team members including Lisa Leslie. Every child in attendance also received a ticket from Lisa to attend the team's opening night on June 6. Right To Play will continue to engage in other special projects in the U.S. throughout the year.

About Right To Play

Right To Play is the leading international humanitarian and development organization using sport and play as tools to effect behavior and social change. Our trained Coaches and community leaders implement our programs which are designed to develop basic life skills, prevent diseases, teach conflict resolution and instill hope in children affected by war, poverty and disease. In 2008, Right To Play implemented programs in 23 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. A pioneer in its field, Right To Play sets standards for quality sustainable programming, promotes best practices and advances research on the efficacy of sport-based development efforts. Founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur, Right To Play fosters the hope and skills that are essential to envisioning and realizing a better future.


Kelley Robinson
Healthcare Outreach Coordinator
Corporation for National and Community Service
Phone:   202-606-6945     




V. Renee Cutting
National Director
Right To Play USA
Phone:  646-649-8288