|PORTLAND, Oregon, July 13. IN the spirit of goodwill, sportsmanship and fun, Arena North America, a leading swimwear brand, initiated a worldwide "Swim Challenge" in an effort to raise awareness for both the sport of swim and for a worthwhile charitable cause, the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation.
For the first world record that is broken between now and the end of 2012, in any individual race, Arena will donate $40,000 to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation (www.edithsanford.org) if the record is broken by an athlete wearing an Arena suit. The brand has also pledged that even if the first world record is broken by an athlete in one of its competitors' suits, Arena will still contribute $20,000 to the charity. If nobody breaks a world record, then the brand will donate $10,000.
The announcement took place at a reception -- hosted by Arena -- on the eve of the first day of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Neb. On hand to help announce the Swim Challenge were special guests, Dave Durden, Cal Swimming & Diving Head Coach; Brett Hawke, Auburn University Swimming & Diving Head Coach; and Aaron Peirsol, five-time Olympic gold medalist.
"We're excited to initiate the Arena Swim Challenge in the spirit of healthy competition and goodwill," said Vice President and General Manager of Arena North America, Tim McCool. "Not only is this an opportunity to have a little competitive fun, but it has the potential to raise awareness for a very meaningful organization. Swimming is one of the few sports where there are as many, if not more, female than male participants. Unfortunately, breast cancer is a disease that touches many of our lives -- whether male or female -- so we're thrilled to offer our support to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation and are thankful for the great work they do."
At the event, Arena also announced details of its newly-formed partnership with the charity. Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization pursuing cutting-edge translational genomics research to identify specific treatments that will work best for each person, prevent the disease on an individual basis, and ultimately eradicate breast cancer. The charity was selected by Arena because the two organizations share many of the same brand values, including a focus on grassroots awareness and a commitment to constantly challenging innovation to break records and reach breakthroughs.
The Challenge is partly centered on the success of Arena's newest suit, the POWERSKIN Carbon-Pro, which is the first racing suit to integrate a carbon cage into its design to deliver intelligent muscle compression, combined with unprecedented fit. Arena is confident in the suit's potential and is committed to helping athletes realize their maximum potential and set new records in 2012, with this new frontier of performance racing swimwear.
In the coming weeks, Arena will send out a letter to all of its swimwear competitors to let them know about the significance of this important cause and encourage them to be a part of the Swim Challenge in the way that is right for them.
Arena is also inviting swim fans to get involved. Fans can follow the action throughout the summer by visiting www.ArenaSwimChallenge.com. In addition, fans that love the spirit of competition and believe in the cause can help cheer Arena on by tweeting their support. The website will feature first-person commentary from Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol, as he captures all of the swim competition excitement as it unfolds throughout the summer.
The Swim Challenge comes on the heels of Arena's recent opening of its wholly-owned North American subsidiary in Portland, Oregon and is part of the Italian-based swimwear company's plans to quickly grow its position in the U.S. market.
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