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Polycom and Right To Play Use Video Collaboration to Bring Together World-Class Athletes in London with Children in Rwanda
Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Video conferencing connects athletes with children across the globe to promote the power of sport and play to inspire, motivate, and develop children’s potential
LONDON - Jul 25, 2012 : Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in open standards-based unified communications (UC) today announced a series of inspirational charity events with Right To Play, including hosting a face-to-face live video conversation between Rwandan children and world-class athletes, to be held at its London Executive Experience Center (EEC) on Aug. 2. All the events are designed to reflect this summer’s focus on excellence in sport, and extending the theme beyond the U.K. through the use of HD video collaboration solutions to young people across the globe.
As an extension to its already existing philanthropic relationship with humanitarian organization Right To Play, Polycom will connect Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors in London with children in Rwanda. Using Polycom video solutions, athletes such as Canadian cyclist Clara Hughes, an Olympic gold medalist, will talk to children affected by war, poverty, and disease to share their passion for sport and to serve as an inspiration for children in challenging surroundings. The purpose of the dialogue is to inspire and encourage the potential of each child by having them see and hear directly from world-class professional athletes about their successes, learn how they overcame obstacles, and what they are doing today to support fairness and team play.
“Besides just the enjoyment sports can give, and even the distraction it can provide in areas that are marked by war and other adverse conditions, sports can help develop leadership skills and teamwork,” said Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play founder and a four-time Olympic gold medalist. “We use the power of sports and play to change the lives of children around the world, and our partnership with Polycom will enable us to reach even more children through the use of video collaboration. In addition to the strong partnership we announced earlier this year, Right To Play and Polycom will help spread the spirit of this summer of sports across the world, and create a real and meaningful impact for children who will have a chance to speak with elite athletes.”
“Video collaboration significantly amplifies the impact of Right To Play programs and provides an option that simply didn’t exist before,” said Gary Rider, President EMEA, Polycom. “Our partnership with Right To Play reflects Polycom’s commitment to bringing people together through the power of visual collaboration and aligns with our vision to make video collaboration ubiquitous in a more connected world."
Polycom and Right To Play will also host an ‘Opening Ceremony Celebration’ in London on July 27 to kick-start the summer activities planned. Skeleton-sledging champions and Athlete Ambassadors Shelly Rudman and Kristian Bromley will attend the event and host a silent auction in support of the cause. Furthermore, Polycom will also facilitate exclusive live events at its London EEC for individual Right To Play supporters. Founded in 2000, the organization that promotes the power of sport and play for development, health, and peace, is expected to surpass more than one million children participating weekly in Right To Play programs by the end of 2012.
Additional activities include:
  • Polycom will make its EEC facilities, including its state of the art video collaboration at Liverpool Street, available to the press. With prior registration journalists are able to use Polycom’s immersive video collaboration rooms and various enterprise-grade video conferencing solutions free of charge (availability permitting).
  • A ‘Surviving summer 2012 – Flexible working eKit’ is available, and provides useful tips on how to work efficiently from home and on the go. As many businesses in and around London are preparing for the events with a move towards more flexible working initiatives, this shift is likely to lay the foundation for a greater distribution of the UK workforce.
Polycom Partnership with Right to Play
Polycom formed a philanthropic partnership with Right To Play in April 2012. As part of the partnership, Polycom is donating a variety of video solutions including Polycom® RealPresence® Room systems for Right To Play's headquarters and national offices, and Polycom® RealPresence® Mobile for remote staff members, local coaches, and community-based volunteers. A key application of video implementation is to enable staff at Right To Play's Toronto headquarters and its regional offices to train coaches and other community volunteers in countries such as Ghana, Ethiopia, China, Peru, and Jordan. Though thousands of miles apart, they will be connected face-to-face with the life-like visual and audio clarity of Polycom video. The live video training sessions will teach in-country coaches how to lead and implement Right To Play programs in their communities. In addition to training more local coaches, the video solution will help improve communications and collaboration between Right To Play staff members, and enable the organization to handle complex conversations and issues across continents more swiftly through face-to-face discussion. Also, to give donors a better understanding of how they are helping the organization, Right To Play will use Polycom’s mobile video application for virtual donor visits.