The Jaguars Foundation and NIKE today dedicated a new outdoor basketball court made from recycled athletic shoes at The Bridge of Northeast Florida, a multi-service United Way agency which serves children in the Springfield section of Jacksonville.
Jaguars Foundation chair/CEO Delores Barr Weaver joined local community leaders, NIKE representatives, Jaguars players Aaron Beasley, Bryan Barker and Kelvin Pritchett, the team's cheerleaders and mascot in the official opening of the new court, made in part from more than 2,500 used athletic shoes collected at three Jaguars games last season.
The Bridge received a $50,000 grant from the Jaguars Foundation in 1995 -- the Foundation's first-ever -- to help purchase the land where the court has been constructed. The Bridge promotes the development of healthy, productive self-sufficient youth and families by providing comprehensive health, social and educational programs for children and youth of poor families where the risk for negative outcomes is highest. The Jaguars
Foundation focuses on strategic grantmaking, networking and volunteer support to serve economically and socially disadvantaged youth and families in Jacksonville.
The Reuse-A-Shoe court resurfacing project is part of P.L.A.Y. (Participate in the Lives of America's Youth), NIKE's national initiative to help kids enjoy the positive aspects of sports and fitness through parental involvement, partnerships with community resource groups and access to safe, quality recreational facilities.
Worn-out NIKE and other athletic shoes are ground up and shredded with the granulated rubber from the shoe's outsoles used for the surface of the basketball court. Since 1993, NIKE's Reuse-A-Shoe program has recycled more
than three million pairs of defective and worn-out shoes, revitalizing sports and recreational opportunities in communities across the country and overseas.
The Reuse-A-Shoe project is the latest of several Jaguars-NIKE partnerships. In October 1996 the team introduced the Jaguars Cool Cats Club presented by NIKE, the team's official youth fan club. NIKE also sponsors
the "Let Us Play Sports Camp for Girls", headed by Jaguars punter Bryan Barker and his wife Leah. Jaguars players and wives support the annual spring camp for at-risk girls and have taken the camp model program to other cities around the National Football League, most recently in Dallas.