Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #1

We are excited to introduce the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

With so much good happening in and around the world of sports, it made sense to try to collect some of these stories for you and feature them in a weekly newsletter.

We have stories highlighting the great efforts of athletes, teams, organizations, and individuals on and off the field of play. We have some fun stories and some thought-provoking ones as well.

As we build up the substance and style associated with the Sports Doing Good newsletter, we hope to hear from you about stories that you think should be featured and any improvements you think can be made to the website and/or newsletter.

Please shoot us a quick email if you would like to start receiving the newsletter on a weekly basis.

It’s all Good.


Fun Doing Good:

World’s Tallest Basketball Player Dunks With Worst Vertical Ever (Video)
Just about every professional basketball player can leap up in the air and slam dunk, but how many can throw it down while barely leaving their feet?

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Anjelina Jolie moment


Athletes Doing Good:
Back from surgery, Tannehill wowing NFL scouts
“Ryan Tannehill could be a top 10 pick in next month’s NFL draft, less than two years after lining up as a receiver for Texas A&M. Tannehill returned to his old high school position of quarterback halfway through the 2010 season and caught the attention of NFL scouts despite starting just 19 games behind center for the Aggies…”

Jamie Moyer’s comeback at age 49 with the Rockies certifies him as a ‘freak’ worth savoring
The old man on the pitcher’s mound is a freak, and he’s a freak because of what he isn’t. He isn’t big or tall or strong or fast or intimidating or exciting or radiant or any of the freak touchstones. He is slight and normal and weedy and slow and calming and lackluster and gray. None of these things makes an athlete, and all of them make Jamie Moyer, 49 years old, pitcher for the Colorado Rockies.

Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is AP Player of the Year
“He received 43 votes Friday from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25. Balloting was done before the NCAA tournament…”

The Inspiration of Jeremy Poincenot, a Golfer Who Lost His Sight and Found His Calling
Jeremy Poincenot isn’t afraid to admit it: He did say “Why me?” Lots of times. Every day for months. And who could blame him? He was a 19-year-old business major at San Diego State who loved playing golf. And in a matter of two months, he had lost all of his central vision.

Female jockey to make history at Dubai World Cup
“Chantal Sutherland will make history Saturday as the first woman jockey to ride in the world’s richest horse race. She hopes many more will follow. Sutherland will ride Game On Dude in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, the latest breakthrough for the 36-year-old rider from Toronto. She is one of several dozen female jockeys racing in North America, and perhaps the most well known.”

NY Rangers Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Stu Bickel reach out to Jack Jablonski, Minnesota youth paralyzed after hit in JV hockey game
On Dec. 30, Minnesota teenager Jack Jablonski, 16, was hit into the boards from behind during a junior-varsity hockey game for Benilde-St. Margaret’s School against Wayzata High. The initial diagnosis was paralysis from the neck down. A few days later, his father, Mike, returned home from the hospital to find a box on the Jablonski family’s front steps. Inside was a Rangers Winter Classic jersey courtesy of rookie defenseman Stu Bickel, who grew up in Chanhassen, Minn., about half-hour southwest of Jack’s high school.

Cardiff Paralyzed Athlete Featured in Upcoming Film at La Paloma
“Skiing expert-only, double-black diamonds, dropping in on double-overhead surf and racing down steep mountain bike terrain at Mammoth Mountain are things most of us don’t do. Never mind that Cardiff resident Jeremy McGhee does all of this without the use of his legs—he’s got a much bigger challenge ahead of him. “

Aaron Craft draws inspiration from brother in Afghanistan
As the rest of his teammates celebrated their Elite Eight victory over Syracuse last Sunday evening in Boston, Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft had more than just basketball on his mind. The same day Craft helped Ohio State reach its first Final Four since 2007, his 23-year-old brother Brandon left for his second deployment in Afghanistan.

Annika Dries: ‘I’m doing my best to keep fighting’
One of the proudest moments of my career happened last month at the Holiday Cup — and it had nothing to do with how I played. We had a series of nine matches against Greece, Canada and Italy, and we dedicated one of those matches to raising breast cancer awareness. We all wore pink caps listing the names of people who’d been affected by the disease, and we auctioned off autographed sports bras to help raise money. The biggest moment, though, was when we had a breast cancer survivor drop the ball for the game’s opening sprint. That survivor was my mom.

E:60’s Tom Rinaldi tells the heartwarming story of Conner and Cayden Long. Two brothers who compete in triathlons despite Cayden having cerebral palsy. (video)

Lower-Profile Olympians Find Creative Ways To Raise Training Money Ahead Of Games
U.S. runner Nick Symmonds is “renting out his skin as a billboard.” He “promised on eBay to wear a temporary tattoo brandishing the name of the highest bidder as he competes for a spot on the U.S. team.” Milwaukee-based marketing firm Hanson Dodge Creative gave Symmonds $11,000 to “sport the company’s Twitter handle on his arm at meets.”

After briefly giving up basketball, Elena Delle Donne is back as the nation’s top women’s scorer, who helped put the University of Delaware in the Top 25 for the first time. For a great article on Elena and her special family bonds, visit

Marine on the go rides “ElliptiGo” for charity
“A 71-year-old athlete has made a stop in the southwest Georgia area to help raise funds for injured veterans. Rick Hermelin is using his ElliptiGo bicycle to run from one end of the country to the other. On the machine, he’s able to tally about 33 miles a day.”

Uniting Body and Mind, With a Bit of a Stretch
For Kelsea Bangora, New York’s 2011 yoga asana champion, the conversation usually goes like this: “Yoga champion? How does that work?”
“Well, it’s like a dance performance, sort of, or a gymnastics routine, but not really.”

San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith joins search for Sierra LaMar
The search for missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar drew its most famous volunteer to date when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith joined the effort Saturday.

Leagues Doing Good:

NBA Cares and St. Jude team up for kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases
When the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) biggest stars hit the court this week it won’t just be the title they are playing for, but something much greater—finding a cure for childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Around the league March 26 – 30, teams, players and fans will participate in Hoops for St. Jude™ Week, …

London tube names stations after Olympics’ legends
The tube will have a new look with Transport for London’s Olympic Legends Map. Instead of Picadilly Circus, Baker Street and Knightsbridge, the map has changed the names of 361 stations to celebrate Olympic athletes. The measure was triggered by sports and underground authorities in the British capital as a prize for the athletes who were champions in the Olympics.

AFP Honors Sarah Burke with Trophy Title for Overall World Champion
…Devin Logan, last year’s Overall World Champion and current Women’s Overall leader had this to say about the possibility of winning the newly named trophy, “Renaming the AFP Overall Championship Trophy after Sarah would only be right, seeing she competed in both events for the longest time and put everything she had into them. It’s great to have this tribute to her as she did a lot for women’s skiing. I would be honored to be presented an award in her name, just as any other girl would be.”

Organizations Doing Good:

Why This Soccer Field In Khayelitsha, South Africa, Is So Special
For the youth of Khayelitsha, the field has become a safe haven. In a township filled with crime and poverty, the field has gone unharmed. A safety bubble of sport. Since its establishment, crime in Khayelitsha has dropped 28 percent, according to Lingulethu West Police Station.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Celebrates 10th anniversary of The Vertical Marathon
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, in association with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and in collaboration with the Red Crescent Society, is proud to announce details of one of Dubai’s most popular fundraising events – The Vertical Marathon. Hundreds of men, women and children will ascend 265 metres up 1,334 stairs to the top of the 52 floor office tower at Jumeirah Emirates Towers on Friday, April 13th.

NeuroTracker Awareness Training for Children at Canucks Autism Network World Autism Awareness Day
NeuroTracker is an awareness-boosting virtual reality training system used by NHL, NFL and pro soccer teams to give them a competitive edge; CogniSens also hopes to provide similar sustained attention training for autistic children, and will be attending the CAN WAAD on April 1st to demonstrate how the system is used and explain its benefits.

Hopkins Childrens Center Sends Reminder About Overuse Injuries for National Youth Sports Safety Month
“In honor of April’s designation as National Youth Sports Safety Month, sports medicine experts at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, are reminding parents, coaches, and pediatricians to watch out for repetitive-use injuries seen in young children. These overuse injuries, such as baseball shoulder, gymnast wrist, and runner’s knee, are more insidious than acute injuries and develop as a result of chronic strain or after a poorly healed old trauma, according to the Hopkins Children’s experts.”

Youth Sports Can Now Take Over the Mobile App World
The lives of youth sport athletes, their parents, coaches and fans just got a lot easier thanks to the latest mobile app from My Mobile Fans, a mobile app development company focused on bringing affordable apps to sports clubs, individuals, small businesses and organizations of all sizes.

Women in Cable Telecommunications, espnW and the Women’s Sports Foundation Join to Recognize the 40th Anniversary of Title IX
…WSF, with input from espnW and WICT, will select a list of the forty women who have made the greatest impact on society after participating in high school or college sports following passage of the 1972 law. The impact of the designees will encompass several fields of endeavor, including athletics, academics, science, technology, media, medicine and civil service.

NHLPA’s Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Program enhances offering to inspire Canadian youth, their parents and coaches
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), in partnership with Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, is pleased to announce program enhancements to the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Program, designed to impact more players at every level of the game. This comes with an updated and improved hockey and life skills resource at, and three regional one-day Mentorship hockey camps for youth ages eight to 15.

National Youth Sports – NYS – Begins Offering Franchises
This is a franchise that gives back to the community by helping youth develop individual and team sports skills, teaching leadership, promoting physical fitness, and by participating in local and international charities. Mr. Pipoly explained, “The National Youth Sports Foundation currently supports orphan children in impoverished areas overseas. NYS built its first orphanage in India in 2002 which houses, educates, feeds and provides medical care for 40 children.

People Doing Good:

Janne Kouri, NextStep Fitness: Life-Altering Moment Leads To Life Calling
Janne Kouri had a great life — a successful career as director for a digital entertainment company, a new California beach home, a beautiful girlfriend and terrific friends. “I was living the dream,” Kouri said. “I couldn’t have been happier. I had a lifestyle most people aspire to live.”  But the direction of Kouri’s life changed drastically in just one moment. Diving into the ocean to cool off as he had done many times before, Kouri this time hit a sandbar, fracturing his C5 and C6 vertebrae. He was instantly paralyzed from the neck down, and the doctors told him he would never walk again.

Travis Ford buys 400 student tickets
That the Oklahoma State women are on the verge of winning a title would be an uplifting end to a heartrending four months. In mid-November, one game into the season, coach Kurt Budke, 50, and 36-year-old assistant Miranda Serna died when a single-engine plane transporting them on a recruiting trip crashed in Arkansas.

Watsonville youth basketball league draws on skills of former star
The first youth basketball program organized by Watsonville’s Police Activities League will feature the insight of a former international basketball player and Watsonville Police Officer Rudy Lopez Jr…

 NYer Of The Week: Laurie Lawrence Helps Special Needs Kids Through Sports
“Her journey began 23 years ago. “I walked in, and I kid you not – one of our athletes ran across the gym and gave me a big bear hug,” she recalls. “And I just went; I guess I’ll be staying here for a while.” More than two decades later, Coach Laurie has changed the lives of hundreds of athletes involved with New York’s Special Olympics.”–laurie-lawrence-helps-special-needs-kids-through-sports

Summitt Retains Her Essence but Lets Go of the Reins
… Then came the announcement last summer that Summitt had early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. It brought a shock to college basketball. But it also brought clarity of purpose to her assistants at Tennessee and what would become their new and expanded roles…

Cancer doesn’t change Derrick Hall’s outlook on life; Former Dodgers spokesman, now chief executive of the Arizona Diamondbacks, maintains trademark positive attitude four months after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.

RIP  – Boxing historian Bert Randolph Sugar dies at 75
With his fedora and ever-present cigar, Sugar was an instantly recognizable figure who loved to talk, and he could talk and write about boxing like few others. There weren’t many better ambassadors of the sport than Sugar.

Teams Doing Good:

Dodgers, McCourt race to fulfill community commitment
The kids wore wide smiles, and Dodgers T-shirts. They celebrated the new baseball field at their local park with a clinic last Saturday conducted by Dodgers alumni. The city councilman eventually left, and so did the retired players, but a generation of kids have the Dodgers to thank for a first-class place to play ball.,0,351649.story

New Zealand teams gather to use football as a tool to improve homeless people’s lives
Homeless World Cup National Partner in New Zealand – Street Football Aotearoa (SFA) will host the 2nd Street Footy National Championship in Lower Hutt this week.

Jaguars launch kids club
The Jaguars have launched a kids club for ages 6-12. A membership kit comes with a personalized certificate, T-shirt, lanyard, cinch pack, pencil case, shoelaces, beach ball and eye black stickers. There’s also a monthly e-newsletter sent to parents, invitations to members-only events and contests, a birthday card from Jaxson de Ville and access to special offers from participating team partners, a news release said.

Boston Celtics Partner with Old Mutual Asset Management to Unveil New Computer Lab at Condon Elementary School
Celtics players Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley give kids a tour of new computer lab, art room, activity center and game room at South Boston school

Fish tanks and palm trees – Miami’s new baseball stadium
“When baseball’s Opening Day kicks off next week, the Miami Marlins will inaugurate a new $515 million ballpark built with all the trappings of South Florida — two enormous fish tanks, palm trees and a kitschy (of course) home run celebration display…”                  idUSBRE82U0AO20120331

Media Doing Good:

Book Review
“China’s Basketball Culture”
Brave Dragons by Jim Yardley
…But the stars of “Brave Dragons” — if not of the Brave Dragons themselves — are the Chinese. There’s the assistant (and sometimes de facto head) coach Liu Tie, whose nationalism is so strong that he quotes Mao in his pep talks and mocks his Taiwanese point guard for playing “Taiwan independence defense.”…

Dwyane Wade writes book
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Wednesday plans to release “A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball” in September. The book talks in part about Wade’s struggles growing up in Chicago and how he’s incorporating some of the lessons he learned into raising his own family.

Adidas running commercial (Video)

ESPN shining its light on Title IX and its effects; SportsCenter will have a countdown of the top 40 female athletes of the last 40 years
Title IX, the federal legislation that leveled playing fields for females wanting to play sports, became law in 1972. In honor of the 40th anniversary, ESPN’s women’s-oriented destination — espnW — will kick off an initiative called “The Power of IX.”

AMC Developing Football Drama ‘The Real All Americans’
AMC is in the early stages of development on football drama The Real All Americans. Based on Sally Jenkins’ book about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Penn., All Americans chronicles the school’s storied football program created by U.S. cavalry officer Richard Henry Pratt, an abolitionist and early equal rights proponent who made a harrowing journey to the Dakota Territory in 1879 to recruit the school’s first students.

Ideas Doing Good:

Final 4: Donate March Madness Pool Money To Kids’ Sports Charities (Charity Hoopla Challenge)
“Pledge to donate your NCAA Championship winnings to kids in need!

If your pool predictions end up being a slam dunk, we at HuffPost Impact are challenging you to give your bracket bounty to charities that promote activity for youth.

We’re calling it a “Charity Hoopla!”Here are our suggestions for organizations that provide kids opportunities through sports…”–march-madness_n_1388254.html

Sports camps: Kids can focus on fun or hone their skills
While sports are a great way for children to enjoy getting much needed exercise, they can teach children valuable life skills as they play. Many of the skills necessary to be successful in sports are the same skills needed to be successful in life. Participating in sports can teach children the importance of teamwork, self-discipline, concentration, patience, self-reliance and personal responsibility, among a myriad of other desirable skills.