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Memphis Grizzlies & Grizzlies Charitable Foundation named to shortlist in Sport Team of the Year category for Beyond Sport Awards 2012

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Memphis, May 2, 2012 –The Memphis Grizzlies organization and Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation were named on Tuesday to the prestigious Official Shortlist for the Beyond Sport Awards 2012 in the Sport Team of the Year category. The Grizzlies were selected as one of 30 shortlisted organizations from almost 300 projects worldwide in this year’s awards.

The Grizzlies Community Investment team and the Grizzlies Foundation join the Boston Celtics (United States), Queens Park Rangers FC (United Kingdom), Tottenham Hotspur (United Kingdom) and RIHP NTH QLD Rubies (Australia) in the “Sport Team of the Year” category.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be named to the 2012 shortlist. This year, we presented the combined work of the Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies, both which operate initiatives and outreach to advance education and youth development in the Memphis region,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.  “We’re grateful to our Grizzlies colleagues and partners throughout Memphis who’ve helped us achieve this milestone.”

The Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative, Grizzlies Read to Achieve and Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiatives were highlighted in this year’s application, as were partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others. Over 25,000 youth are served each year through these combined efforts.

For reaching the Shortlist stage, Koltnow will represent the Grizzlies organization in London, England for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards from July 23-25.  The Summit, an annual event that brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential global leaders, will provide a platform for the Grizzlies Foundation to continue to develop the Grizzlies TEAM UP initiative and yield new resources for the Grizzlies’ community investment programs.  The event will culminate with the announcement of the winners of the Beyond Sport Awards 2012.

Nick Keller, the Founder of Beyond Sport, commented: “The Beyond Sport Awards unearth leaders using sport as a tool for positive change and provide them with the resources, platform, contacts and opportunities to turbo-charge their growth and impact. We are delighted to reveal this year’s shortlist, which comes after many hours of deliberation from more than 25 experts in their field. To be chosen from more than 300 entries for a place on this shortlist represents a fantastic achievement on the part of all these projects.”

As a nominated project, the Grizzlies also will be receiving additional support and opportunities leading up to the Summit, including a media and promotional pack to help spread the word and gain recognition for the nomination and eligibility to specific funding and support opportunities available through Beyond Sport’s clients and partners specifically for Awards nominees.

Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the community.  The Grizzlies Foundation has donated over $28 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception.  To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and how to become part of the Grizzlies TEAM UP youth mentoring  initiative e-mail, call (901) 205-TEAM or visit 

The mission of the Memphis Grizzlies community investment department is to create opportunities for area youth through community outreach, education and sport development initiatives. For more information on the Memphis Grizzlies and Grizzlies Community Investment, please visit, ‘like’ Memphis Grizzlies on Facebook or follow @memgrizz on Twitter.

Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.  The Beyond Sport Awards program provides a package of funding and business support annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.  For more information, visit