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Archives for the day Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The Oakland Raiders, the NFL team we all love to poke fun at, has stepped up to offer $200,000 that will be used to upgrade East Oakland’s Sobrante Park.  The City of Oakland will match the generous $200,000 offer to ensure the field only undergoes one major construction job to make all necessary changes.

it’s great to see the Raiders organization make an effort to help rejuvenate a community that is seemingly in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

As part of the park upgrade, the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation will oversee installation of a synthetic turf field and upgraded drainage system.

“The Sobrante Park football field restoration symbolizes the 50 year partnership of the Raiders and the Oakland Athletic League,” said Michael Moore, Oakland Athletic League Commissioner, during a recent press event.  “The ‘Commitment to Excellence’ for the youth of Oakland insures that the next generations of young ladies and young men have beautiful places to learn the virtues of ‘Victory with Honor.’ The OAL appreciates the commitment of the Oakland Raiders to student-athletes of the Oakland Unified School District.”

When finished, the new field will cater to an estimated 14,000 city youth — and the Sobrante Park Elementary School and James Madison Middle School — along with organized flag and tackle football teams.

FINIS is a company well known to swimmers and triathletes, as a company that specializes in performance clothing, equipment and gadgets aimed at people who play in the water.  Alameda Runners recently contacted the company to learn more about the company’s products, outlook, and future in the swimming market.

I previously reviewed the FINIS SwiMP3v2 MP3 player for MyCE — a tech site I write for — last year, and am currently working on a review of the FINIS XtreaMP3.1G MP3 player for Alameda Runners.

“With today’s technologies creating an MP3 player is easy, but waterproofing that player and also integrating new sound technologies such as ‘Bone Conduction’ is another story,” Finis recently told us during an interview.  “Our engineers have worked hard to develop our current players, make them extremely durable, and have them be completely waterproof. Their successes only give us more confidence to dive into future electronic devices for swimming. In the end, waterproofing electronics is certainly not easy. ”

Many triathletes who participate in open water swims use wetsuits to help stay warm and increase swim performance.  Some have questioned why FINIS hasn’t branched out to offer wetsuits.

“There are very good technical wetsuit suppliers who focus specifically on their market, and we have close alliances with several of them. However, we have made a conscious decision to focus on our product development strengths in the competitive swimming arena. Ultimately we will look to bring our businesses closer together with other wetsuit suppliers, so that FINIS does not get directly involved with wetsuit production.”

FINIS also outlined its goal in the swim market which, not surprisingly, focuses on creating the newer generation of products designed to increase comfort and performance.

“Our goal is to be on the leading edge of swimming development, and our focus has always been to create products that help people swim better. Swimsuits and goggles are the most common products swimmers purchase, but when they want to improve their technique, they look to FINIS.”

You can read the rest of the interview after the jump. Read more… »

It wasn’t long ago when golf and tennis were the most popular sports among Silicon Valley executives and uber rich snobs.  A recent Reuters article however, notes a continued trend I’ve seen (and fully support) over the past few years: the rise of popularity in endurance sports among executives and snobs.

There is a stereotype that all nerds are out of shape couch potatoes — and that may be true in many cases — but more CEOs and tech executives are turning to cycling, running, and other endurance activities to stay fit.

Image courtesy of

“It is usually not a six- or seven-hour day, so part of it is, you probably want something to keep you mentally and physically in shape,” said Enrique Salem, Symantec COO, in an interview with Reuters.  “You want to do something that is challenging, that isn’t about running a business.”

The rest of the article can be found after the jump. Read more… »