To improve the health, well-being and self-esteem of children through movement.
Through grants, global volunteerism, associate engagement, NB athlete involvement, product donations, retail events and consumer engagement, NB SparkStart will inspire children around the world to discover how they love to move.
“NB SparkStart will grow and expand our long-held commitment to supporting positive, sustainable change for young people and communities around the world.”
Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President of Administration, New Balance
Managing Trustee, New Balance Foundation
New Balance, Inc.
Inside each child Lives energy Waiting to be ignited.
Running, Swinging, Jumping, Kicking, Discovering what moves them.
But that spark also fuels a light.
A light that shines bright with health, confidence and joy Setting their future aglow with a passion.
Not only to move themselves, But to move the world.
In 2014, New Balance, Inc. and the New Balance Foundation are taking on several initiatives to advance the NB SparkStart mission.
Contributing $4 million to diverse nonprofit organizations in the U.S., U.K. and China that provide opportunities for children to discover and nurture their spark.
New Balance athletes and associates look back on when they first discovered their love for movement.
Emily Friis Senior Category Manager, EMEA Warrington, UK
"When I was 11, my gymnastics coach suggested I try Acrobatic Gymnastics–the circus kind–and I loved every minute! Although quite scary, the thrill of being thrown around in the air and seeing the awe on peoples’ faces was exhilarating. Two years later, my partner and I won the British Championships, one of my greatest achievements. Ever since then I knew I’d always be doing something to keep my body moving and myself fit and healthy."
Andrea Henderson HR Representative St. Louis, MO
"I remember the day my dad picked me up from preschool and surprised me with a new softball glove and bat. We went home and practiced, and I couldn’t wait to play a real game. Over the next 16 years, my dad would throw me pop-ups in the backyard every time he grilled, and that sparked my passion for team sports – softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball – and competition."
Scarlet Batchelor Senior Product Manager, Kids Boston, MA
"When I was 5, my dad would take my older brother and I downhill skiing almost every weekend. At first I would only focus on being cold and the hill being too steep. But after a little while I realized that I could be fast–really fast. I can still almost feel the wind whipping through my hair as I bombed down a hill and sped past the boys. I relished in the feeling of letting go and seeing just how fast I could go."
Creative Services Boston, MA
"I found my movement spark the first time I went skiing. My dad was a ski instructor and we were all on skis by the age of 3. I remember breaking away to go fast and being caught by a group of people on the side of the mountain. It’s a good thing they were there, because otherwise I don't think I would have stopped!"
Channel Marketing Boston, MA
"I first found my movement spark as a little kid, when I first felt the rush of running around playing freeze tag at recess."
Field Manager West Coast
"When I was 7, a fluke cyst in my left femur required a complicated surgical graft using part of my hip bone. As a form of physical therapy, I was relegated to the pool. I already knew how to swim, but I was just fascinated that I could play and float weightless, and move without restriction. I became a fish swimming for hours until my hands and feet were pruned, and so began my life as a swimmer."
Andy Baddeley 2-Time Olympian, London, UK
"I found my movement spark when I was maybe 4 or 5, and couldn't understand why anyone would choose to walk anywhere! I'd ask my dad to time me to run to the next lamppost and back, or for a lap around the garden (including over garden furniture hurdles). I grew up out with my friends, playing football with jumpers for goalposts until it got dark, and then running home."
Jack Bolas Sub 4-minute miler, Greenville, SC
"After breaking my arm playing basketball at age 9, I decided to jump on a track, still sporting a cast, and race some of my fellow classmates. I was immediately hooked on the excitement and the adrenaline rush triggered by running."
Harley Pasternak Personal Trainer, Los Angeles, CA
"I found my movement spark when my mother took me to the YMCA when I was 13 years old. I was supposed to play in the all-purpose basketball/volleyball gym, but I found myself in the workout room. I was in awe of the bodybuilders with giant muscles lifting Herculean weights. They looked like the superheroes in my comic books. I decided I wanted to be big and strong too, and that was my spark!"
Holly Perkins Fitness Ambassador, Los Angeles, CA
"I found my movement spark when I discovered that I loved dance. During dance classes I felt as though my spirit was unrestrained, explosive and free. It is a powerful feeling and one that has influenced my entire life."
2013 US World
Championship Team, Solana Beach, CA
"I started racing the boys during my elementary school gym class. I would always try and race to the fence on the other side of the field and back before any of my classmates."
Mark Draper International Miler, London, UK
"When I ran my first-ever race for my Cub Scouts team, I was only supposed to be there to sell hot dogs. But they ended up needing me to fill a slot to make up the numbers. Little did I or anybody else know, not only would I end up winning the race wearing my school shoes, but I even overtook the rabbit in the process."
While NB SparkStart is a new initiative, New Balance Inc. and the New Balance Foundation have been committed to giving back to communities for over 30 years.
New Balance, Inc. was founded on the belief that people are meant to move. Every day, through our products and actions, we inspire strength, vitality and physical activity around the world.
Likewise, since its inception the New Balance Foundation has been committed to supporting causes that will make long-lasting and sustainable changes in the world. Since 2001, the foundation’s focus has been on preventing childhood obesity through the support of research and grassroots organizations that promote healthy eating habits and help children be more active in their everyday lives.
Doing well and doing good is part of the unchanging core and future vision of New Balance. We see this every day as our associates volunteer as coaches and catalysts in their communities, using their energy and skills to inspire children to move and play.
While we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, we know this is a journey. As we continue our efforts, we want to thank our associates and consumers for travelling with us.