From spinning scholarships at SoulCycle to running coaches at Athleta, see how major fitness and sportswear brands are getting kids to move more
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The spinning giant has launched the SoulScholarship program, which brought together a group of New York City teens for weekly classes, as well as meetings with a nutritionist and workshops on writing resumes and other career-readiness practices. Post-graduation, the teens get free SoulCycle classes for life. (Which is why SoulCycle is one of 5 Fitness Studios That Give Back.)
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The maker of beautiful leggings and more is the exclusive apparel sponsor for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young girls learn about the physical and emotional benefits of hitting the trails. Several Athleta employees also volunteer as running coaches for the program. (By the way, did you see the New Doll That Wants Girls to Embrace Their Athletic Sides?)
Photo: Girls on the Run
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This sportswear company’s commitment to charity is right there in the name—4.4 percent of each purchase is donated to a nonprofit. But they also have a partners program in which nonprofits can use their resources (like marketing and social media) to support their own charitable initiatives. The long list of partners includes HealthCorps and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington.
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Adidas is one of their primary partners of AmericaSCORES, a national after-school program that gets kids playing soccer and working on their literacy. The sportswear company supplies gear and sponsors major events, giving particular attention to the outpost in Portland, OR, which is Adidas’ home base.
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A key component of the yoga giant’s business is the Metta Movement, their own grassroots philanthropy program. The company encourages employees in their individual stores to come up with a program that will give back to their surrounding community. Lululemon then funds those special programs. Recent examples include getting kids to practice yoga in Denver, and helping teens train for the marathon in Austin. (No wonder Lululemon is one of The Healthiest Companies to Work for.)
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Dylan Reboer was a terminally ill football player whose last wish was for new equipment and gear for his teammates. In his honor, Russell Athletic funds the Fight Like Dylan Award. Each year, they give $50,000 to a high school athletics program that has demonstrated perseverance and strength in the face of adversity. In 2014, the money went to a Long Island, NY football team that lost a player due to a tragic collision during a game.
Photo: Fight Like Dylan
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In 2009, the Reebok Foundation launched the BOKS, a program that gets kids ages five to 12 running, learning about food, and practicing simple moves like squats and pushups, all before the start of the school day. In underprivileged areas, Reebok funds the classes and provides staffing.
The North Face
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Core components of the North Face include a love for warm, fuzzy fleece, and being outdoors. Their Explore Fund provides grants to organizations that help kids have adventures out in the natural world, whether it’s hiking, camping, kayaking, rock-climbing, or whatever other activity they can dream up. (Hopefully, they'll end up traveling to one of these 7 Adventure Vacations to Take for the Fitness Thrill of It.)
Photo: The North Face