Falcons’ Youth Football Program‚ International Olympic committee member to receive “Social Leadership through Sports” awards at International Summit on Thursday‚ October 20

The Atlanta Falcons’ Youth Football Program and International Olympic Committee member Anita L….

Georgia (Oct 14, 2005) — Falcons’ Youth Football Program‚ International Olympic committee member to receive “Social Leadership through Sports” awards at International Summit on Thursday‚ October 20

Cindy Abel



Contact: Cindy L. Abel‚ Bizvox Marketing Communications: 404.816.2024 or cabel@bizvox.cc

Conference at KSU Highlights Women’s Leadership in Creating Social Change; Only US Event as Part of United Nations’ Series of Worldwide Events:

The Atlanta Falcons’ Youth Football Program and International Olympic Committee member Anita L. DeFrantz will receive the Social Leadership through Sports award at the opening reception of the International Summit Effecting Social Change through Women’s Leadership in Sport on Thursday‚ Oct. 20‚ 2005‚ 6 p.m. at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Lesley Visser‚ pioneering female NFL sportscaster and conference presenter‚ will present the award to Walter Dunson‚ youth football manager for the Falcons’ Youth Football Program‚ for their outstanding leadership and significant social contributions made to youth and families through community sports programs. “The Falcons are a prime example of how a professional sports team can use sport as a vehicle for improving the lives of people within a community‚” said Mike Spino‚ conference director.

Donna de Varona‚ two−time Olympic Gold Medalist and founding member of Women’s Sports Foundation‚ will present the award to Olympian and the first female vice president of the International Olympic Committee Anita L. DeFrantz in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the development of leadership opportunities for women‚ particularly in and through sports. Spino adds: “DeFrantz embodies the type of leadership that is the focus of the summit‚ as she is a champion in sports as well as in increasing knowledge about the impact of sport on people’s lives.”

The two−and−a−half day summit will focus on the impact that sports can have on effecting social change and the unique contributions of female leadership. It is the only U.N.−endorsed conference to integrate the importance of women in sport to fostering social improvement and the only U.S.−hosted conference commemorating the International Year of Sport and Physical Education (IYSPE 2005) as proclaimed by the United Nations. The summit is hosted by Kennesaw State University's WellStar College of Health and Human Services Oct. 20−22 in association with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Labour Organisation−Universitas.

Additional conference speakers include Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan‚ equestrian and humanitarian; Christine Shelton‚ Co−Chair for the Project on Women and Social Change and Professor of Exercise and Sport Science at Smith College; Molly Barker‚ Ironman triathlete and founder of “Girls on the Go!”; Mary Harvey‚ U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team member and current Director of Development of FIFA; Dr. Jinxia Dong‚ director of the Research Center for Gender‚ Sport and Society‚ Peking; Adolf Ogi‚ special adviser to the United Nations Secretary−General on Sport for Development and Peace‚ and former President of Switzerland; Dr. Betty Siegel‚ president of Kennesaw State University and more than 35 internationally−renowned sports leaders‚ researchers and advocates for social change.

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Plenaries‚ Programs and Concurrent Sessions
Programs designed to raise awareness of the convening power of sport and expand the potential contribution of women through increased administrative contribution‚ event and player participation‚ and socio−economic infusion include:
Fostering Socio−Economic Improvement: Women’s Leadership Perspective
Middle Eastern Approach and Programs
National Development Model: The El Salvador Work in Progress
The Role of Media in Shaping Society’s Perception of Women
Facilitating Women into Leadership Positions which Make an Impact on Society
Sport and Social Change in Africa

The Role of Sport in Social Change
Sport and physical education play an important role at the individual‚ community‚ national and global levels:
For the individual‚ sport enhances one’s personal abilities‚ general health and self−knowledge.
On the national level‚ sport and physical education contribute to economic and social growth‚ improve public health‚ and bring different communities together.
On the global level‚ if used consistently‚ sport and physical education can have a long−lasting positive impact on development‚ public health‚ peace and the environment.

Access to and participation in sport and physical education provide an opportunity to experience social and moral inclusion for marginalized populations. The control over one’s body experienced while practicing sport is particularly valuable for girls and women‚ for people with a disability‚ for those living in conflict areas and for people recovering from trauma.

Sport and physical education programs can be used as a means to combat challenges such as HIV−AIDS‚ extreme poverty‚ and gender inequality.

Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 18‚000 from 129 countries. The third largest university in the state of Georgia‚ KSU offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Located in metro Atlanta‚ Kennesaw State serves the growing population of northwest Georgia‚ while expanding its reach throughout the region and beyond.

The WellStar College of Health and Human Services has embarked on a significant agenda of applied research that focuses on interventions to promote the health‚ well−being and physical fitness of the community. It has expanded its focus on community by establishing global partnerships through its newest initiative‚ the Office of International Sport Education. The WellStar College is taking leadership in Kennesaw State University’s partnership with the International Labour Organization in establishing the Universitas program which highlights the potential of Sport as a vehicle for social change and development internationally.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu