Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #4

Welcome to week four of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. As we pass the “100 days to go” mark for the 2012 Summer Games in London, we proudly present a couple of stories that touch upon the efforts of those on and off the playing field that make the Olympics so powerful and popular.

In addition to the Olympic news, we offer stories that feature rugby players, skateboarders, runners, footballers, mountain climbers, NASCAR drivers, legendary coaches, and business executives, amongst others. And in the world of media, we are introduced to Magic/Bird (the play), Knuckleball (the movie) and Danny Way (the documentary). This wide array of stories kept us on our toes and kept a smile on our face throughout.

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Finally, if you think others would like to receive the newsletter, please feel free to forward it on or have them contact us directly at

So enjoy. And have a good week.

Fun Doing Good:

Thank You Mom!!

Tom Schaar lands the first ever 1080 on a skateboard
Watch as 12-year old Tom Schaar takes us through the process of landing the first ever 1080 while skating the MegaRamp at Woodward West in Tehachapi, CA.

Athletes Doing Good:

Mental Health Awareness Week – Rugby Players tackle mental health head on
With Mental Health Awareness Week kicking off on 21st – 28th May 2012 many sports players are helping their local communities address with the issues surrounding mental health through sport.

Katongo: Football is a universal language
Throughout his footballing career, Christopher Katongo has proved on more than one occasion that he belongs to a rare group of players who can change the flow of a game when it matters most. The Zambia captain helped steer his country to their maiden continental championship at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in February, and in doing so, was named the Most Valued Player at the tournament.

Runner’s World Cover Athletes Race 2012 Boston Marathon For Sick Children
Elite US runner Desiree Ficker, from Austin, Texas has just been granted a rare, last minute exception to pace Austin’s Talaya Frazier in her sixth consecutive Boston Marathon wearing Skylar Salle’s favorite color purple to encourage her own race to walk again. These two Runner’s World cover athletes are teaming up to help children all over the world.

Former NFL Player Teams Up with ATF Against Violent Crime
Antonio Freeman, former wide receiver and Super Bowl champion for the Green Bay Packers recently visited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) headquarters in Washington to tape a series of public service announcements (PSA) for the agency.

One-arm vet climbs Everest with ice pick prosthetic (“Do-Gooder of the Week”)
25-year-old South African Jaco van Gass lost an arm in Afghanistan, but rather than abandon his quest to climb Mount Everest, he turned his prosthetic hand into an advantage. Van Gass designed an ice pick prosthetic that will allow him to both use a climbing aid and keep his remaining hand free while ascending the steep faces of the world’s tallest mountain.

NASCAR Star Greg Biffle To Celebrate The 10th Anniversary Of “Give Kids A Smile®” Program With National Education Program

Major Leaguers Award $40,000 in College Scholarships to High School Student Volunteers

Campbell turns bet into Olympic berth

Leagues Doing Good:

NASCAR revs up efforts to go green (video)

UFC offers heavyweight backing to new MMA federation
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has thrown its weight behind the creation of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) after claiming it will provide a major boost to the goal of including MMA on the Olympic programme.

Organizations Doing Good:

Citi Announces Innovative Digital 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Program to Support the Next Generation of America’s Athletes
To support America’s next generation of athletes, Citi announced a $500,000 donation to the U.S. Olympic Committee to launch Every Step of the Way?, an innovative digital program benefitting U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across America.

Mothers Will Get the Glory in P.&G.’s Campaign
THERE are few things that seem more patriotic than mothers and the Olympics. On Tuesday, Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, will announce its new campaign — its biggest ever — called “Thank You, Mom,” focusing on thanking mothers of Olympians and would-be Olympians around the world.

IOC aims to encourage interactivity through new initiative
“The Olympic Athletes’ Hub was born out of our desire to connect Olympic athletes and their fans more intimately than ever before,” said Alex Huot, head of social media for the IOC. “With the launch of the Hub, we are creating a paradigm shift in the communication around the Olympic Games, and we are excited to offer this opportunity for greater engagement and interaction between Olympians and their fans.”

Bike for Their Right – Specialized and Right to Play Charity Ride in the Bay Area
The world class cycling brand Specialized and Right To Play, an international development organization bringing the power of sport and play to the world’s most impoverished children, are teaming up to launch an exclusive charity ride in May 2012 in the Bay area.

People Doing Good:

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch driven to rebuild Detroit
“I know I don’t look so good, and the city don’t look good, either,” Prather says. “But things will be better. They got to. There are good people trying to make this city better. The man over there, the one that runs the Tigers and our hockey team, he’s trying. He’s trying real hard. You got to admire that man.”

Pat Summitt awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom
Tennessee legend Pat Summitt can add another honor to her long list of accomplishments and accolades. On the day the University of Tennessee will formally announce that she is stepping down as the Lady Vols head basketball coach, President Barack Obama announced that Summitt is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

An Irish tale of links, luck and a lot of green
Every morning, construction executive Michael Clune reads the news from Ireland on his iPad. A few months ago, he came across a story on professional golfer Padraig Harrington. He was trying to raise money for his wife’s cousin, who had been paralyzed in a car accident.

Elliott still coaching and inspiring
Elliott insists his story is not a sad one. It has been a good life, he says, coaching at schools like Iowa State, Kansas State and San Diego State. The only reason he agrees to speak for stories like this — in which he talks about overcoming a deadly blood disorder and eventually landing here, in his 34th year of college coaching — is because he and his wife, Joey, believe it can help.

Teams Doing Good:

Fenway Park shines in 100th anniversary
On a day to celebrate baseball’s crown jewel, there was plenty of something old, something new

Can soccer be Egypt’s salvation?    
In the neutral environment of the United Arab Emirates, the Egyptian national team – led by former U.S. coach Bob Bradley – will take on Iraq, a side now being marshaled by Brazilian legend Zico. There will be few column inches to elucidate the result.

Media Doing Good:

Magic/Bird opened on Broadway this past week, and ESPNW highlighted the role Georgia Bird played in bringing to iconic figures together…
Sports fans know the on-the-court story of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. What many may not know is that the two stars forged a lifelong friendship out of their rivalry, thanks in large part to one woman — Larry’s late mother, Georgia Bird.

New ESPN Documentary To Feature Tim Wakefield And His Beloved Knuckleball
Veteran Boston Red Sox  pitcher Tim Wakefield may have retired just a few weeks ago, but it won’t take very long for his signature pitch to be immortalized on the silver screen. ESPN recently announced that one of the films premiering during their upcoming Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival revolves around Wakefield and fellow knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets. For a sneak peek, please click here.

Danny Way doc debuts in Hollywood; Besides focusing on skate legend, ‘Waiting For Lightning’ honors mentor Mike Ternasky
Most of Danny Way’s friends and fans who gathered Tuesday night inside Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome for the West Coast screening of “Waiting for Lightning” already knew that the death of his mentor Mike Ternasky had a profound impact on the young skateboarder.

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Our goal is to have Sports Doing Good be a portal housing original content and excerpts from and links to the increasing number of articles, websites, video, and other sources that showcase the good in sports and and its relation to social responsibility.*  We aim to celebrate those concepts, activities, events, and individuals by highlighting them for a wider audience. Much of the news today, whether sports related or not, is incredibly negative and increasingly polarized, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good related to the world of sports.

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Sarbjit “Sab” Singh


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