NEW YORK, May 23, 2017 – Right To Play, the world’s leading sport for development organization, announced today that six-time Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix and NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel have been appointed to the United States Board of Directors. The additions will broaden Right To Play’s reach and deepen the board’s expertise in several key areas.
Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play has helped more than eight million children in 40 countries since its inception. The organization’s key U.S. program – Play at the Core — reaches more than 6,000 Pre-K children in disadvantaged communities throughout New York City.
Felix joins fellow Olympian Summer Sanders on the U.S. Board. More than 300 world-class athletes have served as Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors globally.
Felix is the most decorated woman in U.S. track and field history having won six Gold and three Silver medals. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Felix previously served on the President’s Council of Fitness, Sport and Nutrition, under President Barack Obama. In her role as a Right To Play Athlete Ambassador since 2011, she has visited programs in China, Uganda and Mozambique.
Zenkel manages NBCUniversal’s Olympic business — working closely with the IOC, USOC and NBC’s distribution partners to advance coverage, distribution and marketing opportunities for the Olympic Games in the U.S.. Zenkel also oversees operations and business strategy for the NBC Sports Group. Zenkel graduated from the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School.
“We are thrilled to include two outstanding leaders of the Olympic movement to the U.S. Board of Directors for Right To Play. Allyson and Gary will help us continue our work to promote the education of children in the most disadvantaged communities around the world through the power of sport and play,” said Mark Hantho, Chairman, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. & Global Co-Head, Equity Markets, Deutsche Bank and currently the Chairman of Right To Play’s U.S. Board of Directors. “The support from Gary and Allyson reinforces our objective of providing quality play-based education practices to children in need in New York City and around the world.”
“I am so honored to join Right To Play’s U.S. Board of Directors and lend my voice to an organization that I have seen first-hand impacting the lives of children affected by conflict, disease and poverty,” said Felix. “The hard work by Right To Play educators and volunteers on the ground, teaching children to make healthy choices in areas like conflict resolution, sexual health, and personal hygiene, and then encouraging them to actually live those healthy choices is inspiring and something I am very proud to be a part of.”
“For nearly 20 years, Right To Play has been improving the lives of millions of children around the world and I am thrilled to join the U.S. Board to support this important work,” said Zenkel.
The current U.S. board can be found here.
About Right To Play
Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is a global organization that provides quality, play-based education to empower children and youth to overcome the obstacles of poverty, conflict and disease. By training teachers, coaches and leaders how to use the transformative power of play in their classrooms and playgrounds, Right To Play is helping over 1 million children each week create better futures.
The programs reinforce new behaviors that create sustainable change, complete with results in improved academic performance, increase participation and attendance in schools, reduce violence, and heighten awareness to prevent disease. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps over one million children learn through play to create better futures, while driving lasting social change in 18 countries each week. Right To Play programs are facilitated by more than 600 international staff and 14,400 local volunteer teachers and coaches.
For more information please contact:
Carin Zaleski, Senior Director, Right To Play USA