Grassroot Soccer and (RED)TM Team Up to Save Lives through INSPI(RED) SOCCER

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Partnership links leaders in the fight against HIV to engage students as advocates through 3v3 soccer tournaments held on high school and college campuses around the world.

Grassroot Soccer, a leading non-profit organization that utilizes the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities in Africa to stop the spread of HIV, and (RED), a brand designed to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds to help eliminate AIDS in Africa, today announced INSPI(RED) SOCCER, a new partnership to save lives through 3v3 soccer tournaments throughout high schools and colleges across the country.

Formerly called Lose The Shoes, hundreds of high schools, colleges/universities, and youth organizations have been hosting tournaments benefitting Grassroot Soccer over the past several years. Since the inception of Lose The Shoes in 2006, more than $250,000 has been raised to provide HIV prevention and health education for youth in Africa.

INSPI(RED) SOCCER is sport with a purpose. It’s fun, energy, music, and films. It’s youth around the world helping to eliminate AIDS by fighting for an AIDS Free Generation, where every child is born HIV free and with a chance for a healthy future. It’s the global soccer community coming together to solve one of the world’s most pressing health crises. INSPI(RED) SOCCER is an effort organized by college and high school volunteers, soccer players, campus organizations, or students, who want to make a difference.

“(RED) is excited to partner with Grassroot Soccer and engage young people in the fight to create a generation that is better equipped to beat AIDS,” said Jenifer Willig, CMO of (RED). “At (RED) we are focused on helping raise funds and awareness of the global healthy communities' goal of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and making the possibility of an AIDS Free Generation born in 2015 a reality.”

All funds raised will support Grassroot Soccer’s INSPI(RED) SOCCER events in Africa, which consists of access to HIV education, testing, and treatment for youth through soccer based activities. For every $2,500 raised through student-driven INSPI(RED) SOCCER events, 100 youth will participate in a life-changing INSPI(RED) SOCCER event in Africa.

The first public announcement of INSPI(RED) SOCCER will take place at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Annual Convention in Baltimore, MD, beginning on January 13, 2010. There will be the opportunity to hear more about INSPI(RED) SOCCER, sign up to host a tournament, and receive complimentary (PRODUCT)RED™ partner items at the Convention.

To learn more about INSPI(RED) SOCCER, please visit http://www.grassrootsoccer.org or contact INSPIREDSOCCER(at)grassrootsoccer(dot)org.

About Grassroot Soccer
Founded by former professional soccer players in 2002, Grassroot Soccer (GRS) trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world’s most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to youth. Translating research into action and leveraging the excitement around the 2010 World Cup, GRS attracts and engages young people through schools, community outreach, and social multimedia (e.g. magazines and TV). GRS has educated more than 350,000 kids via its ‘Skillz’ curriculum, and is a leader in the sport for development movement. For more information, visit http://www.grassrootsoccer.org.

About (RED)™ and (PRODUCT)RED™
(RED)'s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to help finance HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, including interventions targeting women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, FLOWE(RED) (U.K. only), Hallmark (U.S. only), Dell, Nike, Penfolds, Penguin Classics and Starbucks. Since its launch in the Spring of 2006, $160 million has been generated by (RED) partners and events for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia and supports programs that have reached more than 5 million people. For more information, visit http://www.joinred.com.
 
About The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This partnership between governments, civilsociety, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing. Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main source of finance for programs to fight these 3 diseases, with funding of USD 19.8 billion for more than 600 programs in 149 countries. It has saved 6.5 million lives, from financing local educational, prevention and treatment programs. (RED)™ is the Global Fund's largest private sector contributor. For more information visit http://www.theglobalfund.org.

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