About FSA

Running And Events For Friendship, Children’s Charity And Hope

p Sports Association, Inc. (“FSA”)

We are a Georgia-based 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit, public organization “sports charity” which utilizes unique athletic events, ultra-distance runs, health and fitness, conditioning and nutrition, teaching and training seminars, motivational speaking, and other sports and cultural activities throughout the world, often working with local non-profit, civic and religious organizations to:

  • break down walls of misunderstanding between nations and peoples
  • foster cross-cultural understanding, communication, friendship and cooperation
  • spread hope and help for the hurting, needy and children


True friendship is a rare commodity in our world. It involves a coming together of Thought, Heart and Spirit so a personal commitment is made by one friend to another… a commitment which will last through the changes and storms that life may bring.

It has been said that the enemies and strangers of our world are often synonymous. We fear what we don’t understand.  Sports is a powerful communicator and can open doors that cross cultural and political boundaries.  By playing together through a Friendship Sports activity, people start realizing not what is different about each other, but what is similar. We all are created from the same clay, we all deal with the same themes, and all go through the parade of seasons.

FSA’s Powerful Global Reach Through Friendship Runs

 Friendship Sports Association Inc. was founded in 1983 by award-winning ultra-distance runner, motivational speaker, author, fitness coach and bridge-building communicator, Stan Cottrell, founder of  the “Friendship Run” concept.

Through more than 30 decades of Friendship Runs in 38 countries, Stan Cottrell has proven the powerful impact of these ultra-running events on nations and people As a result, he has been hailed as one of the nation’s most innovative goodwill ambassadors and honored with these awards, among many others (about 400 leadership, sports, speaking and film awards):

  • “Presidential Sports Award” – President Ronald Reagan
  • “Excellence In Performance Award” – United Nations Assoc., 1988
  • Presidential citations – Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter
    and George W. Bush
  • 10 Senate / House unanimous resolutions
  • “Official Ambassador of Goodwill” – State of Georgia, 2000
  • “HAFL” Healthy American Fitness Leader Award (“Oscar of Sports & Fitness)
    United States Junior Chamber of Commerce & the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 1993
  • “Logan E. Weston” Award – The Foundation for America, 2005

Because of his apolitical posture
, Stan Cottrell has been able to foster communication, friendship and hope across the globe, breaking down walls that divide one human heart from another, opening doors for charitable outreach, and leading the Friendship Sports teams of volunteers to have a powerful impact on people-to-people relationships the world over.

Nations of all political persuasions, theologies and cultures appreciate this unique gift, which opens the doors for the charitable endeavors of Friendship Sports.  For example, among the many accolades given Stan Cottrell by governments around the world, he has received:



  • Numerous national and local awards in China for the 2123-mile, 53-day “Great China – USA Friendship Run” from the Great Wall to Guangzhou, 1984 and again 1985
  • Numerous recognitions from the 12 European countries through which he ran 80 kilometers per day for 80 days, from Edinborough to the Rock of Gibraltar in “The Great European Adventure Run” 1982
  • Numerous proclamations & official recognitions throughout Bulgaria & Crimea for Friendship Runs, 2002-2003-2004
  • Numerous certificates from local officials throughout Argentina & Chile for the “Run For Friendship,” 1992
  • “Iron Man” award, Poznan, Poland, 1990
  • Many certificates, plaques, appreciation from political figures in East Germany and Poland
    for promoting friendship & international goodwill via sports, 1990
  • Awards from the government of Vietnam for efforts promoting friendship between the US and Vietnam via sports

 Since FSA’s inception, millions of people have participated by running along side of Stan Cottrell and participating in the festivities and events surrounding the Friendship Runs.  They have been inspired by his words of encouragement, with the realization that they have unique gifts the world needs.

The FSA events have served as vehicles for other non-profit organizations to realize unparalleled success in reaching populations needing hope and relief on numerous issues, such as orphaned children, food distribution, clothing, medical supplies, establishment of health care centers, information management system for adoptive children, disaster relief and training of church leaders.


The Great Global Friendship Run – Hope For Orphans

Children’s outreach and raising funds to help the 143 million orphans in orphanages around the world is the focus of the biggest project ever undertaken by Friendship Sports, the upcoming Great Global Friendship Run.  Stan Cottrell will be running in all countries of the world, accompanied by the friendship team, local groups and individuals, and those who will be going into the orphanages and villages to give help, teach, provide and encourage and to establish an ongoing framework for continuing aid, hands-on support and hope. We hope you will join us with:

  •  your personal or corporate support, prayers,
  • spreading the word via social media and with friends,
  • joining as a Strategic Business Partner to take advantage of the unparalleled media exposure , branding and networking opportunities with government and civic leaders, businesses and local populations,
  • running alongside Stan (for long or for short), or
  • as a like-minded non-profit organization to work with us.

There will be something for everyone as we seek to raise $1 billion for the children!

How we are funded?

Friendship Sports Association is a non-profit organization formed under the Georgia Non-Profit Corporation Code in 1983, and all programs are supported through charitable donations without commercial aim or endorsement.  This corporation has no capital stock and no shareholders, and no director or other individual has any interest in the earnings or income of the corporation.  We exist purely for “religious, educational and charitable purposes” within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3), and as such, your support is vital to our success.

To those of you have helped us in the past or join with us now, we say “Thank you!” ...
Thank you for the many contributions that have helped and encouraged us to keep going “that extra mile!”