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Partner Spotlight: Project Athena

Partner Spotlight: Project Athena

We are honored to partner with Project Athena to provide headwear for a truly inspiring cause. If you are unfamiliar with this amazing organization, let us share a little about what makes them so special.

Project Athena is dedicated to helping women who have suffered significant medical setbacks and other traumatic experiences achieve their adventurous dreams. More specifically, they provide travel expenses, coaching, equipment, and the encouragement and inspiration needed to help these strong women make a life-affirming transition from Survivor to Athlete.PA3

“So many labels are given to these ladies throughout the personal experience that ultimately brings them to our door. At times, these words begin to feel like your only identity. To watch them break through those labels to conquer a physical feat that once felt impossible is incredibly uplifting,” says Melissa Merrill, marketing manager.

Project Athena offers six adventures per year, pairing applicants with an experience that best fits their needs and a 16-20 week training plan that will help them prepare. The first event is the San Diego Harbor to Harbor Trek. This two-day, 50-mile hike down the coast begins at the Oceanside Harbor and ends at the San Diego Harbor, taking in the sights from Mt. Soledad and La Jolla along the way.

The 2017 San Diego Harbor to Harbor Trek will take place April 28 – May 1. To learn more visit www.projectathena.org

 

Headsweats is Official Headgear of US Open Pickleball Championship!

Headsweats is Official Headgear of US Open Pickleball Championship!

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On April 23, 2017, thousands of athletes will converge in Naples, FL, to kick off the 2nd annual US Open Pickleball Championship, a week-long tournament featuring top-tier pickleball players from around the world! But what exactly IS pickleball?

A fun racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, pickleball can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. Using a paddle and a small plastic ball with holes, athletes compete as either singles or doubles, much like tennis. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Because it appeals to so many ages and skill levels, pickleball has quickly become the FASTEST growing sport in the United States. To learn more about the sport of pickleball and to find out where you can play in your community, visit www.usapa.org!

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As the official headwear sponsor of the US Open Pickleball Champtionship and the USAPA Nationals tournament, which wrapped up last week in Casa Grande, AZ, Headsweats has created a collection of headwear specifically for the quickly-growing number of pickleballers across the nation. Designed to help keep sweat out of athletes’ eyes with a built in terry sweatband and keep them comfortable in our quick drying, moisture wicking, and breathable fabric; Headsweats’ new “Pickleball Collection” allow pickleballers to stay focused on what matters: winning the next point. To see the full collection, click HERE!

 

 

Challenged Athletes Foundation Hosts San Diego Triathlon Challenge

Challenged Athletes Foundation Hosts San Diego Triathlon Challenge

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and The YMCA of San Diego County took over the beautiful La Jolla Cove on Sunday, October 23, 2016 to host the Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge! During the event, over 200 physically challenged athletes completed a 1-mile ocean swim, and 44-mile bike ride, and a 10-mile run along one of the most breathtaking courses in the country. In it’s 23rd year, the event is unlike any other in the world, and is called by many the #BestDayInTri.

In addition to the Triathlon Challenge, over 100 riders and 50 challenged athletes participated in the YMCA of San Diego County Tour de Cove event, a sweat-drenching 4.5-hour stationary cycling marathon! Participants rode individually or as members of 3-person relay teams.

Check out this amazing recap video of the event:

Headsweats is the official headwear partner of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.  Since 1994, more than $76 million has been raised and over 13,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts reach another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles.

What Are You Doing?

What Are You Doing?

Headsweats is proud to be the official headwear partner of Team Red White & Blue, a national organization committed to enriching the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.  Currently, Team RWB is completing the Old Glory Relay, in which 59 teams of runners will move a single American flag 3,450 miles across the country from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.  The runners have just passed the halfway point, and are aiming to finish their journey on November 8th, 2015.  This past week, Team RWB Marketing and Communications Director Dan Brostek traveled with the relay team for 6 days across Colorado and recorded his experience.

This is the discussion that happens multiple times a day as we carry Old Glory east across the country.

Relay Bystander: “What Are You Doing?”

Team RWB Member: “We are running the American Flag from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. over 60 days.”

Relay Bystander: “But why?”

Team RWB Member: “So we can have this very conversation.”

Running with the American Flag at any time is an awesome experience. Running Old Glory 3,540 miles through the heartland of America is absolutely surreal. The very image of one individual and one flag, unified in motion, generates questions, curiosity, honks, waves, high fives, tears, expressions of gratitude, and most importantly, the sharing of personal stories and experiences.

Over the course of six days I traveled with Old Glory from Telluride to Colorado Springs. I experienced some of the most epic scenery this country has to offer, and against that backdrop I’ve witnessed everyday Americans coming together from all over the state and country with a single mission…move Old Glory forward…one step at a time.  

And in these steps is where something truly magical happens. These steps create stories, and these stories create connections.  Given the time, I could write a short book on my journey with Old Glory through Colorado. Instead, I will highlight some of the unique experiences I had over the course of six days and more than 350 miles from the San Juan Mountains through the Arkansas River Valley to the Front Range.

There was a moment of total serendipity as I witnessed a few Team RWB members meet a complete stranger on our way into the small town of Ridgway only to learn that they were all involved in the 1989 Panama invasion. It was absolutely captivating to hear their stories and see them recount those harrowing experiences.

I experienced a moment of uncontrollable laughter when I learned what happens to a runner when you get too close to a cattle truck coming around a curve. You can use your imagination on this one. Bottom-line, it’s funny…unless you are the runner.

We had CDOT workers serenade us with the National Anthem as they paused their blasting for a few minutes so our runners could bypass the construction work and continue moving Old Glory up Monarch Pass.

I heard amazing stories from veterans, civilians and active duty members about how they found Team RWB and the impact the organization is having on their lives. One individual lost over 120 pounds and made fitness a priority in her life. Another individual shared his story about getting clean and battling his addictions. Another veteran with over 25 years of service talked about dealing with the struggles of readjusting to civilian life. Many commented on how they found the camaraderie that they had been seeking since they left the military. Some shared their Faces of Old Glory…personal stories of their grandfathers, uncles, sisters, cousins and friends that have positively impacted and shaped their lives. And some folks just liked the awesome red shirt and wanted to join the team, and in doing so found so much more.

I witnessed people testing their physical and mental limits as they pushed through the heat, altitude and rain to ensure Old Glory continued to move forward.

My favorite experience of all was the handoff…that split second in time when the energy and power of Old Glory transitions from one runner to the next. Having both witnessed and experienced “the handoff” hundreds of times, I still find it hard to put into words how moving this experience truly is.

“So what are you all doing out here?”

Well, we are creating connections…we are sharing stories and experiences, and in the end, we are uniting around a shared goal to enrich the lives of our veterans.

So as the flag continues to move east, take an opportunity to get involved and experience the relay firsthand.  You can still register as a relay or virtual runner and you can donate to help grow the programs that Team RWB is delivering in communities across the globe.  Visit OldGloryRelay.org to learn more.

 

*Blog post and photos courtesy of Dan Brostek