Grizzlies Foundation named to shortlist “Sport Team of the Year”

Posted by Eric Bleier on July 13, 2011

The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation today was named to the prestigious Official Shortlist for the Beyond Sport Awards 2011 in the Sport Team of the Year category. The Grizzlies Foundation’s TEAM UP Youth Mentoring Initiative was selected as one of 35 shortlisted organizations from almost 400 projects from over 125 countries worldwide in this year’s Awards.

“This is an incredible honor for us,” said Jenny Koltnow, Executive Director of the Grizzlies Foundation. “The Beyond Sport Awards highlight the Grizzlies Foundation’s dedication and leadership in expanding and supporting sustainable youth mentoring programs in Memphis. It also recognizes the unprecedented generosity of our Board and the support from the Grizzlies team.  We anticipate this award will bring new partners, resources and volunteers to our mentoring programs and into the lives of kids in Memphis.”

For reaching the Shortlist stage, Koltnow will represent the Grizzlies organization in Cape Town, South Africa for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards from Dec. 5-8.  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.

The Grizzlies Foundation joins the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles (United States), the Manchester City Football Club (United Kingdom) and the Liverpool Football Club (United Kingdom) in the Sport Team of the Year category.

As a nominated project, the Grizzlies also will be receiving additional support and opportunities leading up to the Summit, including the following: the opportunity to be selected by CNN as a featured project for the network’s Beyond Sport Week segment; a platform to promote its efforts at Beyond Sport United at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Sept. 27; an exclusive invitation to PWC masterclasses; and eligibility to specific funding and support opportunities available through Beyond Sport’s clients 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.  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 2007 Steve Patterson Sports Philanthropy Award Winner for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, the Grizzlies Foundation has donated $27 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. 

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


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The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is committed to serving Memphis youth through education and mentoring.