Spring is finally in the air, and we at Ready, Set, Gold! have been reflecting on how fortunate we are to have The Foundation for Global Sports Development as our main and longtime sponsor. We recently caught up with the foundation to revisit their history, recent projects, and what’s in store for the future. Read on to get to know and learn more about The Foundation for Global Sports Development.
Tell us about the history and mission of The Foundation for Global Sports Development.
The Foundation for Global Sports Development was established in 1996 when our founders, Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich, were working together to clear Olympian Rick DeMont’s name after he was wrongly accused of doping at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Originally called, “Justice for Athletes,” the organization’s goal was to promote and protect the best parts of sport. Since that time, we have changed our name and grown significantly. True to our original mission, we partner with impactful health and sports-related organizations, like Ready, Set, Gold!, across the world. In 2015, the foundation launched Sidewinder Films to inspire and educate audiences through film by shedding light on the remarkable, untold stories that celebrate the sport of life.
What do you admire most about Ready, Set, Gold! as an organization, and what was your inspiration behind connecting with us?
Ready, Set, Gold! is tackling one of the most critical issues facing our youth today: physical health. By connecting young people with Olympians and Paralympians to build a foundational understanding of health and fitness, RSG! is providing young people tools they will carry with them throughout their entire lives.
What do you hope for the future of your partnership with Ready, Set, Gold!?
Over the past few months, we have so enjoyed being a part of the Fall and Spring virtual series. With children and teens adapting to school at home, many having little opportunity to socialize, we know this program has been a positive experience for thousands of young people. We hope more educators, Olympians, and Paralympians will recognize the impact of the program and find ways to be involved, allowing RSG! to expand their reach.
What was your inspiration behind creating Sidewinder Films?
In 2014, we connected with the Bavarian Cultural Ministry in Munich to support the creation of a memorial in honor of the Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics. Realizing that younger generations were not aware of the terrorist attack, Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich created our first film – Munich ’72 and Beyond. From there, Sidewinder Films was born, and it has become an integral part of our mission and our Beyond the Films Initiative.
Which film has been the most impactful to show the world, and why?
Witnessing the international response to At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal and the calls for change the film inspired has been encouraging. While all our films offer new perspectives and awareness, we believe protecting young athletes should be the top priority for sports organizations. Through our education program, Courage First, we are taking the film to audiences across the globe and providing tools to ensure sport is a safe place. It is incredibly gratifying to hear parents tell us they are implementing prevention tools learned at one of our events, or to hear from survivors that our film encouraged them to seek support in their healing journey.
Share with us some of your organization’s upcoming projects and events.
In addition to continuing virtual screenings and events for our films At the Heart of Gold and Positive All the Way, we are excited to share we have two new documentaries coming this summer. Waterman is a feature-length film about Duke Kahanamoku – the “Father of Surfing.” Waterman’s release will coincide with surfing’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics, and we are so excited for audiences to learn more about the incredible man who brought surfing and aloha to the world. We are also releasing a film about the Rick DeMont case, and this one features our founders, Dr. Steven Ungerleider and David Ulich. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay tuned for updates about both films: @GSD_Sidewinder
As an advocate of programs for under-resourced youth, what advice would you give to individuals seeking to create organizations that have an impact on today’s youth?
We encourage you to know your community, first and foremost. Identify needs, interests, and vulnerable or overlooked groups within that community. Next, focus on collaboration. Our partnerships, like with Ready, Set, Gold!, are vital to our mission and help us expand our impact across continents.
Now that you know more about The Foundation for Global Sports Development, be sure to visit their website to learn even more about the foundation’s mission and upcoming releases like Waterman from Sidewinder Films.