ING Announces Awards Program for Schools Nationwide

April 3, 2009 Atlanta Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

ING has launched a new awards program that will provide 50 $2,000 grants to schools that desire to establish a school-based running program or expand an existing one. ING is expanding its efforts to help fight childhood obesity and introduce kids to the benefits of running, a habit of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices through the ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).

“The ING Run For Something Better School Awards is a natural enhancement to ING Run For Something Better, allowing us to empower even more children nationwide with the opportunity to achieve and maintain healthier lifestyles,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. Through activity plans created by NASPE and based on the National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE, 2004), the grant awards program will help offer children a healthy start to life and foster their desire to exercise before obesity ever begins. “NASPE is thrilled to partner with ING Run For Something Better to help get children more physically active,” said Fran Cleland, NASPE president and professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. “Quality physical activity programs introduce children to the joys of movement and are truly the beginning of health care reform.”

The grant awards are available in all states to public elementary or middle schools for running programs that target fifth- through eighth-grade students. Schools must implement a minimum of an eight-week running program with a culminating event by Dec. 31, 2009. Applications for the ING Run For Something Better School Awards are being accepted through June 1, 2009. Applications, including complete eligibility requirements, are accessible at www.orangelaces.com/site/index/get_your_school_involved. Public donations to ING Run For Something Better fund the school awards program.

As the sponsor of a number of premier running events in the U.S., ING has been encouraging young people to get physically fit. The company developed ING Run For Something Better in 2003 as a way to give back to local communities. The national campaign provides funding for free, school-based running programs while teaching kids about the benefits of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. Since the program’s inception, over 40,000 children have participated in ING Run For Something Better, collectively running over 1.2 million miles.

Press inquiries

Audria (Aud) Belton Benn, ING, 770-980-5715, 404-934-8743, or audris.benn@us.ing.com

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 125,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers 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 29 million customers across the nation.

ING’s diversity management philosophy and commitment to workforce diversity, diversity marketing, corporate citizenship and supplier diversity fosters an inclusive environment for employees that supports a distinctive product and service experience for the financial services consumer.

For more information, visit www.ing.com/us.

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 as a platform for helping kids get fit through free, school-based running programs. Nationally, ING has committed over $2.5 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, over a half a million dollars has been raised by individual donors through the orange laces program. 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 Run For Something Better

The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on sustainable programs in the areas of financial literacy, children's education and diversity.

For more information, visit www.ing-usafoundation.com.

About NASPE

The preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE’s 16,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. NASPE seeks to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high-quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs through research, development of standards, and dissemination of information. It is the largest of the five national associations that make up the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD). For more information, visit www.naspeinfo.org.