Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #21

Aug. 13 – 19, 2012

Welcome to week twenty-one of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

We admit to suffering a bit from a post-Summer Olympic Games hangover. We missed hearing and seeing day after day great performances and the moving background stories of the athletes’ pursuit of their dreams. From the Opening Ceremonies to the festivities on the last night, London and all of those incredible athletes put on a great show.

We have some stories tied to the Olympics of course, including all four of our Fun Doing Stories, which showcased wonderful photos from the 17-day event and a very cool reenactment of the Games’ major movements done via LEGO! We include a story about Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland who is following through on a pre-Games promise she made to a special young friend, as well as Stephen Kiprotich, who made history by becoming only the second Ugandan ever to win a gold medal at an Olympic Games and his desire to cement his Olympic legacy for future generations. And speaking of legacy, we highlight RideLondon, a new event that aims to become the largest charity fund-raising cycle ride in the world. Finally, we include two stories of individuals who in their own way contributed greatly to our Olympic memories this year and in the past, one in his role as an administrator (Jerry Colangelo) and the other as a gold-medal winning trailblazer, (Greg Louganis).

But the end of the Olympics surely did not signal the end of good stories for us to feature. We actually had another week full of non-Olympic stories as well. From NFL player Lamarr Woodley writing a big check so all the student-athletes in his hometown could play school sports, to UFC fighter Reza Medadi putting his athleticism to work to save the lives of a father and son, to NBA player Brandon Bass spreading his goodwill to kids in the U.S. and China, to TriStar Monaco teaming up with leading organization Peace and Sport to promote fun, environmental protection and social responsibility, three ideas we certainly support, to four teams providing funds for college and money to a non-profit, holding a series of events that benefit multiple charities and even giving wireless access in its stadium to fulfill a want of their fans, to two stories that deal with the serious situation of head injuries in sports and the work of doctors, scientists, and designers to not only understand the impact of sports on one’s brain health but also to create equipment that may protect that most vital body part in the future. (our “Do-Gooders” of the Week)

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Fun Doing Good:

Best photos of the London Olympics; A look at some of the most memorable photos from the London 2012 Olympics
A collection of images that capture the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” All told, they are images of the human spirit.

One man’s memories of the London 2012 Olympics
This, then, was the chance for the city to show itself in full – a combination of a thriving metropolis that was deeply rooted in history. It’s the kind of setting where you could tour a church built in 960, walk over to beach volleyball and then dine on authentic Indian food.–one-man-s-memories-of-a-memorable-london-games-20120812-193859.html

Brick by Brick: The Ultimate Highlights (video)
As the sporting fortnight draws to a close, we look back at some of the standout moments, including Usain Bolt’s dominant 100m, Michael Phelps’s record breaking performance in the pool and US gold in the women’s beach volleyball. The capital will hope for a lasting legacy as it hands the mantle over to Rio.

Great Britain Olympians Sing ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ By Queen (video)
But now the Games are all wrapped up and Team Great Britain has been on a high since the host country nabbed the third-most gold medals of any country. To celebrate, Great Britain’s Olympians came out with a video of their own, channeling their inner Freddie Mercury and lip-syncing to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

Athletes Doing Good

Steelers linebacker Woodley donates $60,000 to help hometown players
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley doesn’t know if his family would have been able to afford to pay for him to participate in sports when he was a youth in Saginaw, Mich. So, when he heard the news that the Saginaw public school system had instituted a $75 fee to participate in sports this year, Woodley did something about it.

Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, Olympic windsurfer, will auction bronze medal to help girl with Cystic Fibrosis
Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland won the bronze medal in the women’s RS-X at the London Olympics, a windsurfing event that involved a heavy sailboard. Now she intends to sell it — but for a very worthy cause. Noceti-Klepacka has a neighbor named Zuzia, a 5-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis. She requires constant care, and that care has proven to be a financial challenge to her family. She’s also Noceti-Klepacka’s biggest fan.–oly.html

UFC fighter Reza Madadi saves drowning child and father
Swedish UFC fighter Reza Madadi is on a huge win streak. His victories include wins over Yoislandy Izquierdo, Rich Clementi, Carlo Prater and death. He saved a drowning toddler and his father in Sweden on Aug. 3. After kayaking in the Stockholm Archipelago, he was headed to lunch when he saw a 1-year-old fall off of a pier into the water. The child’s father jumped in after his son. Instinct kicked in for Madadi, who once trained to be a firefighter, and he jumped in after the father.–mma.html

Brandon Bass Doing Good Things in China and at Home
Along with the trip to China, Bass conducted three free reachback basketball camps for underprivileged kids in his native Louisiana. He also sponsored a free backpack give away for underprivileged kids.

Marathon Winner to Inspire a Nation
Stephen Kiprotich, who made history on Sunday by becoming only the second Ugandan ever to win a gold medal at an Olympic Games, will continue the legacy of his remarkable win, as he becomes an ambassador for the London 2012 legacy programme, International Inspiration, in Uganda.

Events Doing Good:

Major cycling event taps into London 2012’s legacy goals
One of the first major sporting legacies from the London 2012 Olympic Games has been announced with the launch of RideLondon – an event which aims to become the largest charity fund-raising cycle ride in the world.

Triathlon: TriStar Monaco and Peace and Sport team up to promote sporting values
Once again, this year’s TriStar Monaco, the fun format of triathlon, together with Peace and Sport, an international initiative at the service of peace, continue their efforts for the promotion of sport, its values and its power to educate. Fun, environmental protection and social responsibility are the three main pillars in the organizer’s philosophy and consequently are part of all TriStar races.

RBI World Series participants give back
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities has given more than one million kids a chance to play baseball and softball. With this year’s RBI World Series marking the 20th anniversary of the event, it was the players’ turn to give back on Friday. More than 150 RBI World Series softball players and coaches took part in two community service events on Friday.

Media Doing Good:

BACK ON BOARD GREG LOUGANIS (Kickstarter donations sought)
Back on Board Greg Louganis is an engrossing story about an American legend on the cusp of a comeback. This film reveals Louganis’ evolution from childhood diving prodigy to Olympic champion, and from pioneering openly gay athlete with HIV to a sometimes forgotten sports icon. His recent return to diving as a mentor to US Olympic divers competing at the 2012 London Games provides an exciting new chapter to his life-story.

Organizations Doing Good:

Street Soccer Provides A Home For The Homeless
Amy K. Nelson takes a close look at Ronnie, Austin, Jerry, and TK, four men trying to turn their lives around … through soccer. They are all members of Street Soccer USA, a national soccer league comprised of homeless men and women.

Milestone signs Paul Elliott for ambassadorial role
Digital media company Milestone Group (LON:MSG) has appointed Paul  Elliott CBE as its Sports and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Ambassador… Milestone said his role would be to focus on  introducing and promoting  the company’s community and sports initiatives to key stakeholders in relevant marketplaces both in the UK and overseas.

People Doing Good:

Picking the Man Who’d Lead Basketball’s Dream Team to Gold
The product of a tough, close-knit family from Chicago’s Hungry Hill suburb, Colangelo is a straight-talking pragmatist. Despite his low profile, he is basketball royalty, known for delivering results. NBA commissioner David Stern chose Colangelo in 2005 to change the culture of the Team USA basketball organization, which meant creating a cohesive, winning team out of a group of egotistical, strong-willed, and free-wheeling players.,

With Arena, Rapper Rewrites Celebrity Investors’ Playbook
When the developer Bruce Ratner set out to buy the New Jersey Nets and build an arena for them in Brooklyn, he recruited Jay-Z, the hip-hop superstar who grew up in public housing a couple of miles from the site, to join his group of investors. Mr. Ratner may have thought he was getting little more than a limited partner with a boldface name and a youthful following that could prove useful someday. But Jay-Z’s contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago.

The Woman Who Would Save Football; Dr. Ann McKee has been accused of trying to kill the sport she loves, but she may be its only hope

This is the Brain Bank at the Bedford Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusetts. Here, in a small room dominated by stainless steel, McKee performs autopsies. She examines the brains of athletes — men and women — who, without really knowing it, put themselves in harm’s way.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet (video) (“Do-Gooder” of the Week)
Design students Anna and Terese took on a giant challenge as an exam project. Something no one had done before. If they could swing it, it would for sure be revolutionary. The bicycle is a tool to change the world. If we use bikes AND travel safe: Life will be better for all.

Teams Doing Good:

D-Backs Team Up Helios Education Foundation To Offer $1 Million In College Scholarships
The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation announced a partnership with Helios Education Foundation and the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation to create the D-backs Helios Scholars program that will send 40 Arizona High School seniors to college over the next five years. The D-backs will contribute $500,000 to the D-backs Helios Scholars program that Helios Education Foundation will match for a total donation of $1 million.

Jags have incentive to give TD ball to refs
Coach Mike Mularkey has found a way to encourage his players to hand the ball to an official after the score, rather than doing anything that could result in a celebration penalty. Score for the Jaguars and hand the ball to an official, Mularkey donates $250 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville. The Jaguars Foundation matches the contribution.

Carolina Panthers to offer free wi-fi through AT&T
Carolina Panthers fans will be able to access the Internet at Bank of America Stadium this season, thanks to a new partnership with AT&T Inc. AT&T (NYSE:T) has installed more than 460 wi-fi access points at the NFL stadium, giving fans with wi-fi-enabled smartphones and tablets free Internet access from the concourse, concession stands or seats.

Brooklyn Cyclones to hold Giving Back Week at MCU Park
The Brooklyn Cyclones announced that they will have ‘Giving Back Week at MCU Park ‘ starting on August 21-23, as the franchise plans on giving $15,000 to local area charities during a three-game Cyclones homestand when the team takes on the Tri-City Valley Cats. All games begin at 7 p.m.

Al Sadd heightens the application of international standards in the field of social responsibility
Al Sadd Sports Club – Qatar’s leader in the field of social responsibility – resumes the implementation of its CSR programs after last season’s successful application in its quest for excellence. The club continues on its trek with an advanced formulation that complies with the standards of CSR in the UN and other international organizations.

Commentary Doing Good:

Sporting nationalism walks a fine line
The Olympic Games are not only the most competitive and watched sports event, they also have a unique spirit of understanding, diversity and equality. The Olympic Charter says participants are committed to “social responsibility” and “peaceful society.” Yet, over the duration of the London Olympics, three athletes have been sent home for racist tweets or extremist right-wing associations. Their actions – and the reactions of their Olympic committees – show that the Olympic spirit has a dark underbelly of hate.

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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 media that showcase the good in sports and society. 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 polarizing, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good, with a focus on sports.Our mission is to have Sport Doing Good be a consistent, and significant, contributor to the areas of sports, social responsibility and development. We look forwarding to partnering with other stakeholders in producing content, in creating and/or sponsoring athletic and service events, knowledge sharing, and conferences/seminars, and even having a commercial arm that could be the source of innovative social businesses.

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Contact Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sarbjit “Sab” Singh