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Shaquille O’Neal Collaborate with Communities In Schools of LA to Inspire

When it comes to inspiring middle school students to dream big, there’s no one more appropriate to deliver that message than NBA Hall of Famer, business leader and philanthropist Shaquille O’Neal. Last week, Epson’s CEO Keith Kratzberg and Shaq visited Daniel Webster Middle School as part of the “Epson and Shaq Give Back” program in collaboration with Communities In Schools (CIS) of Los Angeles, to encourage students to pursue their dreams and take advantage of every opportunity available.

During the Daniel Webster Middle School event, students heard first-hand from Keith and Shaq about their career dreams, and how a strong education helped shape them into who they are today. This included a candid series of questions about their time in school, mentors and advice on future careers, as well as exciting Epson product demos that let the students experience how impactful, vibrant and life-like their school work and homework can be. Festivities also included a school-wide pep rally, followed by Keith and Shaq celebrating Daniel Webster department heads for all they do for their students, with a presentation of Epson printing and home theater solutions.

“I believe that technology can take education to another level for kids, making it an exciting and fun experience,” Shaq said. “The kids at Daniel Webster Middle School are definitely on the right track with big hopes and dreams, and I’m excited to share tech tools to help them reach those goals.”

The “Epson and Shaq Give Back” program helps teachers and students of CIS create a transformative learning environment to help expand students’ imaginations, inspire career dreams, and motivate them to dream big using Epson technology – including its cartridge-free printers, 3LCD projectors and whiteboards. The visit to Daniel Webster Middle School represented a donation of Epson solutions to CIS of Los Angeles partner schools and administrative offices including EcoTank® ET-4760 cartridge-free all-in-one printers and PowerLite® W39 3LCD projectors.

“Listening to the students at Daniel Webster Middle School reminded me how important it is to dream big and that anything is possible,” said Keith Kratzberg. “Technology in the classroom can enhance the learning process and provide new ways of expression, giving students the opportunity to do more than they thought possible. Epson strives to support environments that inspire students and teachers to enjoy learning and teaching, and we are thrilled to provide this to the CIS of Los Angeles family.”


Photo Credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

2019 USA Track Field World Champions Welcomed Home

Oregon21, LLC, USA Track & Field (USATF), Travel Oregon and the University of Oregon teamed up to host the official kickoff event for the World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 today at the University of Oregon campus. The event welcomed back Team USATF athletes just returning from this year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which concluded on Sunday, Oct. 6, with Team USATF athletes and teams winning an astounding 14 gold medals, and 29 medals overall. The Team USATF gold medal tally matched the highest ever for an American team.

The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships will come to the United States for the first time Aug. 6-15, 2021. It will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2021. University of Oregon’s Hayward Field will host nearly 2,000 competitors from more than 200 countries.

“We could not be prouder to bring the World Championships to the United States for the first time ever, and it is only fitting that TrackTown USA serve as the host,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Oregon is a running mecca, and we are excited to bring the globe’s elite athletes to our beautiful state. The event speaks to the Oregonian spirit — we are strong, nimble, and quick, just like these stellar athletes with us today, and we can’t wait to cheer them on when they compete here in Oregon in 2021.”


Photo Credit: USA Track & Field

Mike Tyson Partners Up for a New Original Content Series

The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first to present MMA in the sport-season format where individual fighters compete in a Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship, has announced a strategic partnership with Mike Tyson.

The first initiative under the strategic partnership is a new MMA series — “Mike Tyson’s New Fight Game: The PFL,” which is produced at Tyson Ranch, where Mike also films his popular video podcast talk show Hotboxin with Mike Tyson. This new PFL series will provide fighter perspective, inside analysis, and irreverent discussion never before experienced in combat sports.

The series debuts Thursday night, October 10, at 10:00pm ET on PFL and Tyson digital and social platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Joining Mike on the show is Sean O’Connell, PFL ESPN play-by-play announcer and PFL 2018 Light Heavyweight Champion. Each show will also feature special guest influencers who love MMA from the worlds of music, film, sports, or culture.

“I’m attracted to the fight model of PFL because they empower their fighters,” said Mike Tyson. “PFL is leading MMA into the future and I’m excited to be a part of this conversation.”

“Nobody on earth has experienced fighting and life like Mike Tyson,” said PFL Co-Founder and Chairman Donn Davis. “He brings one-of-a-kind insights to recruiting great fighters and promoting great fights.”

“This new PFL series takes you inside the fighter journey through the eyes of the most iconic warrior of our generation,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the PFL. “The PFL has the toughest fighters in the world as they must fight twice and win twice in the same night in the PFL Playoffs to advance to the PFL Championship. How did they get to this point? What is going on in their minds? There is no one better to dive into these fighter stories than Mike Tyson.”


Photo Credit: Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

So, Who’s Up to Bat for The National League Pennant?

Wednesday evening, October 9th 2019 was a big night in major league baseball. The St Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves in a landslide, 13-1. And the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Washington Nationals, 3-7.

This will be the first time in nearly five years the Cardinals are heading back to the National League Championship Series. St. Louis got on top 4-0 before Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled starter Mike Foltynewicz. And before you knew it, the Cardinals were up 10-0.

In Los Angeles, on their own turf, the Dodgers lost to the Washington Nationals after a 7-3 defeat in extra innings.

At the bottom of the eighth inning, Washington’s Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto crushed back-to-back home runs off Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw – in relief – to tie the game.

The NLCS kicks off Tomorrow night in St. Louis with Game 1.

Tonight, Tampa Bay Rays takes on the Astros in Houston for Game 5 of the ALDS, with the winner set to face NY Yankees for the American League Pennant.


Photo Credit: Frank Romeo / Shutterstock.com

Horse Racing Reform Bill Gains Momentum

The effort to bring uniform standards to protect racehorses passed three major milestones this week. One hundred and fifty Members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors to the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA), which is more than one third of the House of Representatives. Besides the strong Congressional support, 135 of the industry’s leading trainers support the bill. Additionally, more than 53,000 people have signed a petition from the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) calling for passage of the bill.

“The industry needs the Horseracing Integrity Act,” said Shawn Smeallie, executive director of the Coalition of Horse Racing Integrity. “While various tracks and organizations have announced reforms addressing horse injuries, the industry still suffers from a lack of a national system to regulate itself. Passage of the HIA solves that.”

The HIA is a horse-first bill that would create a private, independent national horse racing anti-doping authority responsible for developing and administering a strict anti-doping and medication control program. The CHRI is confident that passage of HIA will strengthen the horse racing industry by reforming industry drug use and showing Americans that the health of racehorses is a top priority.

“Racehorses in America are injured at a rate that is 2.5 to 5 times greater than other horse racing nations,” continued Smeallie. “The statistics show that the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to our equine athletes’ health. The Horseracing Integrity Act will bring the United States up to international standards and will better protect our horses.”

The horse racing industry is presently regulated by 38 different racing jurisdictions, which limits regulators’ effective management of the many issues involved in the health and safety of racehorses.

The HIA does not establish a Washington-based regulatory authority, but rather creates an independent body, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority under the oversight of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The new anti-doping authority would be governed by a board of six individuals with deep horse racing expertise and seven individuals from the USADA. USADA is the benchmark for drug testing and enforcement of human athletes, including the nation’s Olympians, and will help ensure racehorses are free from performance-enhancing drugs during racing and training creating a safer environment for horses and jockeys.

“Clearly, we need to do more to protect horses and improve equine health,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “And the Horseracing Integrity Act will protect horses by creating the first truly national set of rules on drug usage and testing to ensure that horses are running free of performance-enhancing drugs. The health of the horse needs to come first, which is what this legislation does.”

“Public confidence in our sport has been shaken, and we find ourselves in a pivotal moment in horse racing’s long history in the U.S.,” said Kelly Summers Wietsma, president of Equisponse. “That is why this growing list of 52 industry-leading trainers, collectively with more than 50,000 wins and 22 North American year-end Outstanding Trainer awards, have signed a letter supporting the HIA.”

These trainers are in addition to the 100+ trainers, 800+ owners/breeders and 250+ industry professionals who have joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance, which is a founding member of the CHRI, and the leading opponent against the use of race-day medications.

“Horse racing in the United States has the most liberal drug rules among all international jurisdictions, especially when it comes to race-day medication,” said Staci Hancock, co-founder and the managing member of the Water Hay Oats Alliance. “We need federal legislation to bring national uniformity to state-run racing jurisdictions, which is why WHOA and its members support the Horseracing Integrity Act.”

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity represents a diverse group of racing organizations, racetracks, owner and breeder associations, and animal welfare groups that support adoption of a national, uniform standard for drug and medication rules in horse racing. For more information and to read a copy of the proposed legislation, visit HorseRacingIntegrity.com. To support the Horseracing Integrity Act by signing the petition, visit HorseRacingIntegrity2019.com.

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