Atlanta Falcons Linebacker Keith Brooking Prepares to 'Run for Something Better'at ING Georgia Marathon
Linebacker Keith Brooking will swap his cleats and shoulder pads for a pair of running shoes and orange shoelaces on Sunday, March 30 as he partners with global financial services leader ING and the “Run for Something Better” program during the 2008 ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon.
Brooking, who plays for the Atlanta Falcons, is no stranger to running and physical fitness. He is one of only a few NFL athletes to play his entire career -- from Pee Wee league to the pros -- in his home state. During his career, he has led the Falcons in total tackles for six consecutive seasons. Brooking is the only player on Atlanta’s current roster who played on the Falcons’ 1998 Super Bowl team.
Brooking is also extremely active in the Atlanta community. His Keith Brooking Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization, is committed to serving foster children and the agencies that support them in the metro Atlanta area. By joining forces with ING, he hopes to encourage more Atlanta-area youth to fight childhood obesity and get active as part of the national ING Run for Something Better program.
"As a professional athlete, I firmly believe that leading a healthy lifestyle and staying in shape as a child will lead to a long, healthy life," said Brooking. "By participating in the ING Run for Something Better, I hope to encourage thousands of children in the metro Atlanta area to embrace physical activity and work towards setting their own personal fitness goals.”
In the U.S., childhood obesity has become a serious health epidemic. Educating kids about the importance of living an active and healthy life is the cornerstone of the ING Run for Something Better program. Since 2003, the youth running program has successfully engaged thousands of children, parents and teachers in cities across the country where ING sponsors long-distance running events. In Atlanta, the successful program is organized by ING’s race partner, Georgia Marathon, LLC.
“We’re excited that Keith has chosen to support the ING Run for Something Better during this year’s ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon. His involvement in Atlanta will help spread our positive message about youth running and fitness,” said Tom Waldron, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Brand for ING Americas. “Keith strives to help children through his own Foundation, so he is a perfect ambassador for encouraging young people to start leading a healthier life.”
In this role, Brooking will be wearing a pair of ING’s signature orange shoelaces, which are given to kids’ fitness supporters who make a charitable contribution to the ING Run for Something Better program. ING’s orange laces are available at www.orangelaces.com/atlanta.
On marathon race day, he will also join hundreds of children from 19 middle schools in Atlanta and Decatur who are expected to participate in the ING Run for Something Better “Final Mile” run. This event takes place at 10:00 a.m. on the official marathon race course. The students will have a dedicated lane and run along Marietta Street and Means Street in downtown Atlanta.
Kids participating in ING Run for Something Better-funded programs have run enough miles to reach the moon and back – about 475,000 miles. ING has donated more than $1,000,000 to youth running initiatives across the country and is committed to donating a total of $2,000,000 through 2010. By the end of 2008, nearly $200,000 in Run for Something Better funds will have benefited middle school students in Atlanta.
Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 860-580-2677 , cell: 860-462-6525, or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Keith Brooking
The Atlanta Falcons linebacker is one of only a few NFL players to play his entire football career, from Pee Wee to Pro in his home state. He is a current Atlanta Falcons linebacker who has led the Falcons in total tackles (165) for six consecutive seasons. He has started 96 consecutive games entering the 2007 season, dating back to 2001. Brooking is the only player on Atlanta’s current roster that played for the Falcons on the 1998 Super Bowl team. Additionally he has been selected to the NFL Pro Bowl five times. Brooking is active in serving the Atlanta community. His foundation, the Keith Brooking Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to serving foster children and the agencies that serve and support the metro Atlanta area.
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, insurance and asset management to over 75 million private, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of over 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offer a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.
About the ING Run for Something Better
The ING Run for Something Better is a fundraising campaign that supports community and school-based youth running programs. Linked to ING’s long-distance race sponsorships, the program was created to introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle that prevents conditions such as childhood obesity. In today’s world of poor nutrition and less-active lifestyles – which may contribute to childhood obesity – ING is using its position as a sponsor of marathons worldwide as a platform for helping kids get fit through free school-based running programs. ING’s goal is to invest in the health of American children by donating $2 million to running programs to get 500,000 kids running by 2010. ING has also created a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contribution. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run for Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of orange laces go to the ING Run for Something Better fitness programs. For more information about the orange laces, go to www.orangelaces.com.
About The ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon
The 2008 ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon, to be held on Sunday, March 30, is Georgia’s picturesque, springtime, neighborhood–based distance combo event. Beginning at Centennial Olympic Park, it will travel through 26.2 miles (and 13.1 miles for the half marathon) of Metro Atlanta area’s most interesting and historic areas including the Sweet Auburn District, Inman Park, Midtown, Downtown and the city of Decatur. Along the way it will pass landmarks including the King Center, and Carter Center, before returning to Centennial Olympic Park for the finish. A limit of 15,000 registrations will be accepted for the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon. The event is owned and operated by Georgia Marathon LLC.
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon includes a full weekend of activities for athletes, families and spectators – Health & Wellness Expo, Publix Tot Trot, Neighborhood Challenge, and the ING Run for Something Better. A full list of weekend activities, volunteer opportunities and registration information are available at www.inggeorgiamarathon.com.