Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Sports Award
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award recognizes sports teams, athletes, and community-based organizations that use sports to catalyze and sustain changes to make communities healthier places to live, learn, work, and play. The Foundation will take into account its guiding principles when selecting awards, which includes:
- To seek bold and lasting change rooted in the best available evidence, analysis, and science, openly debated
- To treat everyone with fairness and respect
- To act as good stewards of private resources, using them to advance the public’s interest with a focus on helping the most vulnerable
- To cultivate diversity, inclusion, and collaboration
- To speak out as leaders for what it believes
Selection criteria specific to the Sports Award includes:
- Making communities healthier through sport: The degree to which the applicant uses sport to address the root causes that influence health and health equity including the diversity of population reached and solutions that contribute to policy, systems, or environmental changes that improve health.
- Innovation: The level of creativity and solutions thinking used to advance health and health equity goals.
- Collaboration: The level of inclusion and cooperation across a broad set of perspectives and sectors to achieve health and health equity goals including shared purpose and accountability.
- Impact and measurable results: The level of success in improving health and health equity in the target population(s) and community(s). The degree the work is being evaluated and results shared with partners and target audiences.
- Sustainability: The approaches used that demonstrate a commitment to solutions that will be long lasting.
Amount: Each category winner receives:
- $10,000 cash prize
- The winner’s story and success will be celebrated broadly to inspire others
- Opportunity to engage with other community leaders at the Foundation headquarters during a private ceremony
Eligibility: The Foundation will consider applications in the following three categories:
- Category 1: A professional sports team community relations department or foundation based in the United States or Canada
- Category 2: An individual athlete or professional coach’s foundation based in the United States or Canada
- Category 3: An organization in the United States or Canada that is an influential leader and model for improving community health through sports
Applicants that are not charitable organizations or public entities must apply with an organization that is such an entity and will receive the prize funds.
Note: The Foundation strives to treat everyone with respect; the Foundation cultivates diversity, inclusion, and collaboration; and the Foundation acts as good stewards of private resources, using them to advance the public’s interest. The Foundation recognizes that its reputation and success also depend upon the integrity, fairness, and sound judgment of those with whom it works. With these principles in mind, the Foundation will not consider an application if it is submitted by an entity whose name, brand, or practices—in the Foundation’s judgment—denigrates, harms, or discriminates against any racial or ethnic group. For example, a team with a name or mascot that, in the Foundation’s view, denigrates Native Americans will not be eligible for the award.
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