|Tripps Leads “Athletes for a Better World”
IN 1998, A PROFESSIONAL basketball player tried to strangle his
coach during a game. That same year, Fred Northup, a retired Episcopal
priest, pursued a vision for a program that inspires athletes to
exhibit personal integrity and sportsmanship.
Athletes for a Better
World (ABW) set out “to change the culture of sport by reaffirming
the development of individual character, teamwork and civic responsibility
through commitment to a concrete athletic Code for Living.” Northup
appointed Dan G. Tripps, professor of physical education at Seattle
Pacific University, to be the program’s first executive director.
by volunteer efforts, ABW is growing quickly into an influential
nonprofit organization with a national governing board. Operational
staff members in Seattle, including seven SPU graduate students,
facilitate the activities of 50 state organizing committees.
They work with major media outlets and oversee outreach efforts
to community and interscholastic programs, club sports, and college
and professional sports programs.
Bigger dreams are also becoming
reality. Legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden has given ABW permission
to establish an annual awards event in his name, honoring one
college and one professional athlete of exceptional character.
In 2005, ABW will contribute in an effort to eliminate alcohol
beverage advertisements from sports broadcasts. “We are out there!” says Tripps. “We have regular
meetings with staff at the NCAA and every professional sports league
to discuss a value-oriented approach and interactive partnerships.”
hopes Seattle Pacific volunteers will remain integral to
future: “This is an opportunity for SPU to be an influential voice
in the dialogue about the future of sports.” So far, ABW has inspired
commitments from more than 50,000 athletes, coaches and parents
to demonstrate discipline, respect, cooperation, integrity and
For information about ABW, visit the organization’s
Web site at www.abw.org.
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