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New Balance Foundation Joins Playworks as National Partner to Expand the Power of Play

January 26th 2012

Boston, MA -

New Balance Foundation announces a national partnership with Playworks, a national nonprofit organization that supports learning and a positive school climate by providing healthy, inclusive play and physical activity, to expand the power of play to more than 130,000 students in 23 cities across the country. New Balance Foundation's $1.2 million investment over two years will help drive advocacy, outreach, engagement and other initiatives that directly work to build the movement for play. The funding will also support professional development initiatives for the hundreds of Playworks coaches who serve low-income schools nationwide. As part of the agreement, New Balance will be the official footwear and apparel provider for Playworks and will outfit the coaches on the playground.

New Balance Foundation, headquartered in Boston, has been a local partner of Playworks MetroBoston for the past year, with school sponsorship, volunteer and employee engagement activities at 27 schools in Metro Boston. In addition to the national partnership, The Foundation will continue to strengthen its local partnership through dedicated support provided to Metro Boston schools and community service activities with New Balance associates around play and physical activity.

"New Balance Foundation has a wide and deep commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles in their communities. They've been a dedicated partner for us in the Boston area for the past year," notes Playworks Founder and CEO, Jill Vialet. "They have a high standard for excellence and a genuine commitment to supporting leadership and youth development. We are thrilled that they are expanding their commitment to the power of play nationally to serve more youth and communities every day."

"Our partnership with Playworks offers us an opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards expanding the power of play to schools and children nationwide," says Molly Santry, New Balance Foundation. "Playworks has a proven program for getting children active through play that also promotes leadership and other qualities that are important for positive youth development. This expanded partnership underscores the New Balance Foundation's long-standing commitment to building a healthier future."

Since 1981, New Balance Foundation has provided more than $48M towards health and wellness initiatives in its local communities with a focus on the prevention of childhood obesity. In April 2011, New Balance President & CEO Rob DeMartini was named the country's Most Playful CEO in a nationwide search for inventive leaders who incorporate play and innovation into the work environment to encourage collaboration and teamwork. The award was sponsored by Playworks.

About Playworks

Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day. Celebrating its 15-year anniversary, Playworks is the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time coaches to low-income, urban schools. Playworks currently serves more than 130,000 children in 300 low-income schools in 23 cities throughout the country every school day.

About New Balance Foundation

Established in 1981, the New Balance Foundation has served a deeply held mission: to support charitable organizations whose humanitarian efforts work for the betterment of our children and communities. The heart of our focus is the prevention of childhood obesity. For more information, please visit www.newbalancefoundation.org