Right To Play is
an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to
improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and
communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.
Working in both the humanitarian and development context, Right To Play builds local capacity by training community leaders as coaches to deliver its programs in more than 20 countries affected by war, poverty, and disease in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America.
Founded in 2000, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national offices in Canada, Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The national offices raise funds, build awareness for Right To Play programs and advocate for sport for development.
KG and RTP
Kristina Groves first learned about Right To Play when she saw founder, and 3-time Olympic champion in speed skating, Johann Olav Koss from Norway, interviewed on TV during the 2004 Athens Olympics. He described how Right To Play had organized a children’s soccer game for a team from Israel and at team from Palestine to play together.
Inspired by this story about how sport can foster peace, Kristina then learned about becoming a Right To Play Athlete Ambassador when she saw another skater with the RTP logo on her suit. In 2005 Kristina became an Athlete Ambassador and has since made many contributions to the organization – through personal donations, fundraising initiatives, media exposure and trips to the field.
After winning two medals at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Kristina donated $5000 of her prize money for those medals to Right To Play, to match a donation of the same amount from her sponsor, Hain Celestial. In 2005, and until the end of her career, Kristina donated the personal-use commercial marking spot on her racing suit to Right To Play to help generate valuable media exposure for the organization.
Along with teammates Clara Hughes and Arne Dankers, Kristina also helped generate funds for RTP through a used speed skating equipment sale that earned them the Canadian Spirit of Sport Award in 2007.