As partnerships go, this one’s a slam dunk.
It began with a $100,000 gift last summer from Sport Ngin to build the Sport Ngin Sport Court alongside the Sullivan Playground on the front lawn of University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. Today, Sport Ngin employees are so fired up about the Sport Court and what it might mean for young patients that they’re making a full-court press to host a monthly basketball tournament there.
“We can create brackets, and we have an iPhone app we can use,” says Anna Klombies, vice president for human resources at Sport Ngin, which specializes in web software and mobile apps for youth sports. “We’re so excited to use the technology we have to enhance kids’ experiences there.”
Slated to officially open in June, the rubbersurface Sport Court features an adjustableheight basketball hoop, a Four Square grid, and a “Nine Dot” grid where kids can practice dribbling and play other games, she says.
“Kids in wheelchairs can still get a lot of upperbody exercise from dribbling,” Klombies says. “I get so emotional when I think about what this place could mean for patients. Exercise and fresh air are so key to feeling and being healthy.”
Like all parents, Klombies hopes her children never need hospitalization. But if they do, she’s thankful to live near a “world-class institution” like University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. “It’s an amazing place,” she says. “Everyone is so engaged, so devoted and passionate—any small way we can help is an honor.”