Ice for Water

Ice sports athletes helping rinks to reduce their water footprint and working towards water equality for kids everywhere.

Photo of Kyra

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://iceforwater.org Instagram: @ice.for.water

Date Started

June 2017

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

My video link isn't allowing me to input it into the section, so here it is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fybJJTiHyMyFFIJyXmJoP4J9HfRaJdXf/view?usp=sharing I was motivated to start this project, while participating in MIT's Leadership Institute, because I know how many people across the globe suffer from a lack of clean water, and become highly susceptible to and die from easily preventable diseases from this lack of clean water and sanitation. I have also been a figure skater for most of my life, and my brother plays hockey, so we have both spent a lot of time in ice rinks. We realized that athletes who play sports on ice have a lot of privilege to be able to use water for their sports, while millions around the world don’t even have enough to drink. This is why we wanted to help create a world where all children have access to clean water.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

One in ten people don't have access to clean water. One child dies every two minutes from preventable diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water. These and other frightening statistics show the global crisis that is a lack of clean water. Being without clean water leads to having to drink dirty water and the lack of sanitation for millions of adults and children who die from diseases that would be easily preventable otherwise.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We are trying to help solve this problem by mobilizing local ice sports communities who depend on water for their sports to get involved and help other kids who lack clean water. We want to foster change within these athletes who enjoy a year-round privilege to play using frozen water. We will do this by basing this project at ice rinks, by inviting athletes to be ambassadors and creating charity events like skate-a-thons or public skate fundraisers. At these events we will ask for donations and sell merchandise with logos, and donate all proceeds to water charities that we trust and will partner with to provide aid to communities in need. By hosting these events at our local ice rinks, we will not only foster change among the members at the rinks, but we will also encourage the rinks themselves to reduce their water footprints. Ice rinks use gallons upon gallons of water everyday for ice resurfacing, and our ultimate goal is to help the ice rinks give back to communities in need of clean water as a way to offset the large amount of water they use for sports everyday.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When someone will get involved with our project, it will be as a participant in one of our ice rink activities. These kids would help set up and spread the word about an event for the rink that would be to fundraise and build more of a sense of community in the ice rink. They could also get involved as an ambassador in the program and set up their own fundraisers under the name Ice for Water, and encourage ice rinks to donate to water conservation charities to offset their "water footprint". This project would get more people in the figure skating and hockey communities involved in helping to better others' lives. We want to use our voices as ice sports athletes to get everyone thinking about their "water footprint" and how to reduce it and conserve the valuable resource that is our clean water supply.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

There are countless charities concerning improving the access to clean water in communities in Latin America, Africa, India, and places in the U.S. (like Flint, Michigan). Our project, in addition to having the ultimate goal of creating permanent access to clean water for communities that don't have it, has the goal of acknowledging the privilege of and fostering change in the ice sports community. We want these athletes to take action for their privilege to play using water/ice, and raise awareness to create meaningful change and get "water neutral", like "carbon neutral" energy programs.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Our project is just getting underway, but we have completed our first few steps, one of which was establishing Ice for Water as an official non-profit. This was so we can accept donations in the future and put them towards groups that do water related work in developing countries, since we are still in school and can't head out there ourselves. Our organization plans to be stationed at a few local Boston rinks, and raise awareness at those rinks for the global water crisis. This would be done through skating fundraisers and charity events, like skate-a-thons, which would foster a sense of community while creating change for those in need. We plan on reaching out to specific developing communities, and eventually even pairing each ice rink with a community in need, so that the two communities dependent on water can be more personally connected.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our idea for growing the project is to spread it through many ice rinks by creating a program where figure skaters, hockey players, and speed skaters can be Ice for Water Ambassadors, and run the Ice for Water program in their home rink. They would (with our help) run events at their rink in order to raise awareness (like a skate-a-thon or a public skate for charity night), and collect donations from their rink and its members. We also envision approaching ice rinks and asking if they will donate a small portion of their profits from ice time fees (public skate and practice ice) to Ice for Water for potentially a week or so every season. This will really help encourage ice rinks to practice being water neutral.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

To make the vision a reality, more members of the project based in different ice rinks around the region would be required, which we will recruit. We already have a website in place, but we will need funding so that we can pay for the first few events before we have raised any money. We would also use initial funding to create stickers, tee shirts, and skate towels with the Ice for Water logo that we would sell at charity events and at rinks, with all of the proceeds going towards creating sustainable clean water sources for communities in need. We also want to grow awareness through social media by contacting some prominent ice sports athletes (Olympians, professionals, etc) to start talking about skating for water equality for all kids.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support
  • Donations less than $100

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

As stated before, our organization would be most effective with the help of as many other young change makers as possible. These people would be Ambassadors for Ice for Water, and help the organization live on throughout rinks, and create a lasting difference. The organization would be able to spread with the help of young people acting as leaders in their own rinks across the region, and the nation.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Liz Gray at Positive Tracks

16 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of StaceyPetruzella@gmail.com
Team

Go Kyra!

Photo of Anthony Montano
Team

This is a great cause! So many of us do go day-to-day without thinking of the luxuries that we have with clean drinking water along with the water that we use for extracurricular activities or sports. I think this could benefit even more from more emphasis on partnership with the other established charities or nonprofits that you work with. Essentially, maybe you could work to position your cause as a resource to help build more and more support and generate donations for some specific organizations. A partnership like yours could help them have an even greater impact as well.

Overall, this is a great cause and it’s great to see an athlete like yourself be so conscientious of water conservation considering the amounts of water used in ice sports and sports in general. This submission even gave me somewhat of an “a-ha” moment, as I believe that the general population doesn’t give enough thought to these things as a whole.

Photo of Kyra
Team

Anthony, thank you for the thoughtful comment. A huge goal of ours is definitely to partner with some established charities already doing water related non-profit work and then use the skating community to build awareness and donate to their organizations. One organization we are thinking about is charity : water, but there are a lot of great ones out there. Do you have any suggestions?

Photo of Anthony Montano
Team

Hello Kyra,

Unfortunately I do not have any suggestions in that area; however, I do see some other comments on this page that seem to help there! Seeing the additional excitement that you're generating here gives me even more confidence in your project. Keep up the good work, and don't let anyone discourage you from moving forward!

Photo of lucia
Team

Kyra, I think this is a great idea. I have played hockey for most of my life now and have never really thought about how lucky I am to play the sport I love on ice when other people around the world are just struggling to get clean water. I hope you decide to continue with this idea it sound great!

Photo of Kyra
Team

Lucia, thank you for your message! It's great to meet another athlete who loves skating. I hope to continue the project to bring awareness to other skaters like yourself. Let me know if you'd like to be an ambassador at your home rink.

Photo of lucia
Team

I would definitely think about being an ambassador at my home rink what I have to do?

Photo of Kyra
Team

Lucia, we are working on the ambassador kits right now. They should be ready in a few weeks, and as soon as they're ready I will send you the link on our website so you can look into it.

Photo of Armani Simmons
Team

Hey, I am partnered with an organization called "Aquagenuity" and they are on a mission to improve quality of life for billions of people worldwide who are exposed to water pollution and threatened by water scarcity every day. Aquagenuity is a water quality Data-as-a-Service platform (DaaS) that provides up-to-date, actionable water quality data for consumers, corporations, and smart cities. Using their innovative mobile app, corporate dashboard, and robust API, users can easily find out what’s in their water and how it impacts them from a health or regulatory perspective. The company's founder is a close friend of mine and a Harvard Grad from humble beginnings who would be thrilled to work with an organization like yours! I would be honored to make the point of contact, so that we can work together on making this happen!

Photo of Kyra
Team

Armani, thank you for sharing this information with me. Aquagenuity sounds like an incredible organization, and it sounds like it would be a great fit with what I'm trying to do. I just checked out their website, and I would love to learn more about it and how it can work with Ice for Water. Looking forward to hearing more from you and being introduced to Aquagenuity's founder. Thank you!

Photo of Brittany Corner
Team

Great way to connect two groups of different backgrounds

Photo of Kyra
Team

Brittany, thank you for your message!

Photo of Riya Krishnan
Team

Kyra This such a cool idea! Out of curiosity- how much water do you think could be saved if Ice for Water were implemented at a single ice rink?
My best friend is super involved in figure skating, so if you need an ambassador, feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help! This is a great cause and interesting approach!

Photo of Kyra
Team

Riya, thank you for the thoughtful question. An average ice rink resurfaces their ice about ten times per day (and each resurfacing uses 80-100 gallons of water), which means that almost 1,000 gallons of water are used per day. Our idea is for rinks to reduce their water footprints by donating to Ice for Water to support those who don't have clean water. Ultimately, the rink could become "water neutral," which means that they would donate to save as much water as they were using. It would be great to talk to your friend, please feel free to have her connect with me.

Photo of Leilani Serbousek
Team

If you need help or are looking for an ambassador you can email me(email on my profile)! I'd love to help, this is an awesome cause.

Photo of Kyra
Team

Leilani, thanks for your message!