The First Tee of Cleveland named 2017 S.T.R.I.V.E. Organization of the Year
NCYS and AIG Recognize Exemplary Organizations That Apply Strong Values and Health, Wellness & Safety Initiatives in Youth Sports

August 8, 2017; Cleveland, Ohio – The First Tee of Cleveland announced today that the organization has been awarded the 2017 S.T.R.I.V.E. Organization of the Year Award. Presented by the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) and American International Group, Inc. (AIG), the S.T.R.I.V.E. (Sports Teach Respect, Initiative, Values and Excellence) Award honors youth and amateur sports organizations that demonstrate a commitment to help kids succeed in amateur youth sports activities while keeping young athletes safe. NCYS serves over 60 million boys and girls that are registered in organized sports activities.

“This award recognizes The First Tee of Cleveland’s commitment to kids’ health, wellness and safety, setting an example to young people that Sports, Teach, Respect, Initiative, Values and Excellence in a safe, fun, positive environment,” said Sally Johnson, Executive Director of NCYS. “The First Tee of Cleveland has demonstrated a heartfelt passion and a contagious spirit for helping kids succeed in youth sports activities while maintaining a focused commitment to establish an impressive variety of safety procedures. We are impressed by how their staff and coaches advance the vital role integrity, sportsmanship, safety, life skills and sport skills play to enhance the youth sports experience.”

The First Tee of Cleveland, an independent 501(c)(3) organization based in northeast Ohio, is a chapter of The First Tee®, a national initiative begun in 1997. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Health, wellness and safety are integrated at every level of the curriculum, impacting youth ages 6-18 across Greater Cleveland.

“We are thrilled and proud to have this outstanding national distinction,” said Patricia LoPresti, Executive Director of The First Tee of Cleveland.” The acknowledgement of the daily execution of our mission is gratifying. Our trained volunteers and our strong The First Tee® coaches assure that our activity-based youth character development curriculum is seamlessly integrated.”

A five-year independent, national study shows the positive impact on grades, self-confidence and social responsibility. The results from participants in The First Tee Life Skills Experience confirmed that these students were able to: stay positive when frustrated with homework; set goals to get better grades; and, look for solutions to problems with peers. In the same study, 73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically, and 82% felt confident in their social skills with peers because of their involvement in The First Tee.

Now in its sixth year, the S.T.R.I.V.E. Award for Organization of the Year will be presented to The First Tee of Cleveland at a date and location yet to be determined. The First Tee of Cleveland’s nomination page and video outlining how the organization keeps kids on course can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/2uuWJzD

The First Tee of Cleveland has been a sustainable and growing chapter for over 16 years. Last year, 821 participants had the learning experience that seamlessly combines the Life Skills curriculum, using Nine Core Values™ (Honesty, Integrity, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgment, Respect, Sportsmanship) and Nine Healthy Habits™ through the game of golf. Every lesson plan is mastery-driven, and outreach programs are implemented with other local youth agencies and elementary schools.

“We are proud to honor The First Tee of Cleveland. The organization is committed to implementing safe, responsible and dependable best practices, policies and procedures as well as a positive culture, esteem values and a high standard of behavior,” said Frank Scalia, AIG’s Personal Accident-Consumer Insurance Vice President and Head of Distribution. “The organization is dedicated to the success and safety of young athletes on and off the playing field and brings greater awareness to the positive benefits of amateur youth sports.”

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About the First Tee of Cleveland
The First Tee of Cleveland is a proven, youth activity-based character development program for ages 6-18 that increases participants’ self-confidence, scholastic achievement and social responsibility. Headquartered in Newburgh Heights, the local non-profit organization is one of 175 national chapters of The First Tee® providing the high-level core curriculum that seamlessly integrates Life Skills™, Core Values™ and Healthy Habits™, using the game of golf as the platform. For more information, call (216) 641-7799 or visit www.thefirstteecleveland.org.

About The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS)
Founded in 1979, the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) membership represents more than 220 organizations / corporations serving 60 million registered participants in organized amateur youth sports programs. NCYS is well-known for its advocacy in promoting healthy lifestyles and safe environments for stronger neighborhoods and communities. As the largest known youth-serving organization in America, the NCYS is the portal and leads with a united voice for youth sports. NCYS’ reason to exist is to enhance the youth sports experience in America and enrich the value the participation through trusted leadership, quality education and a meaningful passion to create a better, more wholesome society for today and for generations to come. For additional information, visit: www.ncys.org.

About AIG
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Founded in 1919, today we provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement products, mortgage insurance and other financial services to customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. Our diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com.

Media Contact: Mary Patton – Patton Public Relations; (216) 214-3951 or mary@pattonpr.com