Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Park District Announce Nike Investment to Provide Specialized Training for 1,500 Park District Recreation Leaders this Summer

Nike’s Swoosh Summer Academy to Provide Camp Leaders with Training on Positive Sportsmanship to Lead 40,000 Campers this Summer

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 28, 2016.  Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Park District today announced that camp recreation leaders will begin the summer season with fresh perspective and new skills to bring to their roles, thanks to Nike. Today, Nike launches the Swoosh Summer Academy in Chicago providing more than 1,500 recreation leaders with customized training that will allow them to deliver positive sport and physical activity coaching to the 40,000 children ages 6-12 participating in camps across the Chicago Park District locations this summer.

“This summer, our camp counselors will not only earn a paycheck through One Summer Chicago, but they will lead by example for the more than 40,000 children participating in our park district summer day camps around the city,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I want to thank Nike for bringing the Swoosh Summer Academy to our city to help our One Summer Chicago participants give campers the best experience possible this summer. Programs like these strengthen our city by investing in youth as they grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.”

Swoosh Summer Academy will provide recreation leaders, who are employed through the Mayor’s One Summer Chicago program, with specialized training on how to deliver positive youth development through sports. The training will take traditional coach and leadership training to the next level with Nike’s partner, Up2Us Sports. Additionally, the recreation leaders will be outfitted in Nike apparel and footwear that will enable them to move, lead and inspire with the activities that they will be trained to deliver to the campers.

“Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential, and we’re passionate about helping kids here in Chicago reverse the physical inactivity trend,” said Jim Beeman, GM of Nike Central Territory headquartered in Chicago. “In the face of fewer positive, early experiences and opportunities for kids to get active and stay active, Summer Swoosh Academy has the potential to impact thousands of kids in our city for the better.”

Chicago Park District’s recreation leader positions are part of the Mayor’s One Summer Chicago youth employment initiative. Each year the program brings together public and private organizations to provide thousands of employment and internship opportunities to youth and young adults ages 14 to 24. Since Mayor Emanuel took office, the program has more than doubled, serving more than 30,000 youths this summer.

“Our recreation leaders are a vital part of the Chicago Park District’s summer camp experience” said Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael P. Kelly. “This is a first job for many, and they are truly role models to the children they serve. We see Nike’s contribution as a value-add, both to the employees and to the campers.”

The Summer Swoosh Academy will build on the Chicago Park District’s training of conflict resolution, constructive leisure time activities and engaging youth. The entire program is being provided to the Chicago Park District at no cost.

Chicago Park District summer camps allow children to remain active and engaged throughout the summer. Campers play sports, participate in art and cultural activities, attend field trips and more. Spaces are still available. For information, visit your local parks or the website at


The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,300 acres of parkland, more than 585 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY

About Nike Community Impact
Nike believes in the power of sport to move the world and unleash human potential. However, the world is moving less and less, and today’s generation of children is the least physically active ever. That’s why Nike works to get kids (ages 7-12) active early and for life, because active kids are happier, healthier and more successful. Together with employees, partners, consumers and athletes, Nike also supports important causes that strengthen communities across the globe.