Coaching Initiative Provides Assistance to Returning Veterans by Preparing Them for a Career in Sports

MIAMI – The Miami HEAT and The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund have partnered with Up2Us to launch Up2Us’ “Heroes at Home,” a workforce assistance and coaching initiative for post 9/11 returning U.S. Military veterans. Up2Us prepares veterans for a career in sports and youth development through its signature training program, Coach Across America.

During Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund will make a $100,000 donation to Up2Us for the Up2Us Heroes at Home initiative during a special ceremony scheduled at halftime. The donation is the result of the team’s annual fundraising efforts.

"We’re honored and excited to launch Up2Us’ Heroes at Home in Miami with partners like The Miami HEAT and The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, organizations who understand the debt owed to our returning military veterans,” said Paul Caccamo founder and president of Up2Us. “Veterans uniformly cite ‘physical activity’ and ‘becoming a coach’ as key motivators to their reentry to the workforce. Thanks to the HEAT, Up2Us’ Heroes at Home initiative will provide our veterans with an opportunity to not only gain employment as coach-mentors but to continue to serve as every day heroes to thousands of youth in Miami-Dade County.”

The support of Up2Us’ Heroes at Home reinforces the franchise’s existing tradition of honoring the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. In 2006, HEAT President Pat Riley launched the HEAT Home Strong initiative, an on-going program where members of the military who have returned home are saluted during every HEAT home game. The mission of the Home Strong initiative is to give aid, support and recognition to any person who has been in harm’s way during their military service. Additionally, the HEAT has hosted clinics for veterans and their families at United States Southern Command and also offers active, reserve, veteran and retired U.S. Military personnel and first responders with discounted HEAT tickets via a partnership with GovX. Home Strong is proudly presented by C1 Bank.

About Up2Us

Established in 2010, Up2Us (www.up2us.org) is leading a national movement to advance sports as a solution to the critical challenges facing today's youth, including childhood obesity, academic failure and youth violence.

Up2Us accomplishes its mission by uniting more than 750 sports programs that provide life skills development to this nation's most vulnerable youth. In 2010, Up2Us launched Coach Across America (CAA) to provide its member organizations with well-trained, highly effective coaches.

CAA is the first national program that challenges young adults to give back to their communities through a year of service as coach-mentors. To date, Up2Us has placed more than 1,700 CAA coach-mentors nationwide, reaching over 133,650 children.

For more information on Up2Us, please contact Zaynab Behzadnia at zaynab@lfpr.com or 949-303-9676.

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