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By: Rachel Henderson

Nothing But Nets Announces “Compete to Beat Malaria” Sports Challenge to Observe World Malaria Day

May 25, 2017

Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign launched a nationwide challenge to ask Americans to “Compete to Beat Malaria.” The month-long campaign aims to send 25,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to families in sub-Saharan Africa. In honor of World Malaria Day (April 25), Nothing But Nets will convene national campaign partners, local communities, schools, and individuals to take sports-related challenges, raising awareness, funds, and voices to fight malaria. Challenges are expected to range from soccer and basketball tournaments to cycling and running races.

Nothing But Nets was created with sports in our DNA,” said Chris Helfrich, Director of Nothing But Nets. “For years, our supporters have leveraged their passions for sports to raise money for the campaign while doing what they love. If everyone takes a challenge this month, we can help protect thousands of kids from malaria.”

The Nothing But Nets campaign boasts hundreds of thousands of supporters – from students to basketball stars and CEOs – who all help to protect families on another continent from the threat of malaria. Campaign partners and supporters have already lined up several creative ways to stay active while also fighting the disease. Several high schools, colleges, and universities plan to host basketball tournaments and 5K races.

This week, the campaign honored Cooper Smith, a middle-school student of Lafayette, California, for his efforts to fight malaria. For a second year, Smith has asked his friends and family to donate to Nothing But Nets in lieu of gifts for his birthday. He has already sent several hundred nets to Africa.

“This year my birthday will have a basketball theme – but I don’t really need a new basketball hoop or sneakers. I just want others to know about malaria and how it easily it can be prevented,” said Smith. “So for my birthday, I am hosting a trick shot competition to raise awareness for Nothing But Nets at Oakwood in Lafayette to help make sure kids don’t get sick from malaria. My best friend is doing one as well. We hope others will join in.”

The U.S. chapter of the Junior Chamber International is hosting a Mosquito Marathon now through World Malaria Day. The cross-country walk-a-thon aims to raise up to $20,000 for Nothing But Nets.

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight malaria, a leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Together with its UN partners, the Nothing But Nets campaign has delivered more than 7 million bed nets since 2006.

Malaria is a deadly disease, transmitted by a single mosquito bite. Malaria kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year and claims the life of a child every 60 seconds. But bed nets provide a simple, cost-effective solution and can reduce the spread of malaria by 90 percent in areas with high coverage rates.

For more information about Compete to Beat Malaria, visit


Rachel Henderson

Senior Communications Officer, Nothing But Nets | 202.739.2782

About Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Since then, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $50 million to send more than 7 million bed nets to families across sub-Saharan Africa. Campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit to send a net and save a life.

About The United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit

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