Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #23

Aug. 27 – Sept. 2, 2012

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

At Sports Doing Good we are reviewing ways to make the newsletter and blog more interesting and relevant for our readers. While we tinker with the content and format we aim to never change our commitment to finding a diverse array of stories. And for 23 weeks now, we have been fortunate to find a variety of stories that keep us inspired, excited, and in a good mood.

This week we have stories involving the famous (Lionel Messi) and not-so-famous (SD Padress ball girl); pros with incredible leaping ability (Paul George) and amateurs pushing themselves to overcome disability (Matt Woodrum); a movie (Knuckleball) and a book (The Footballer Who Could Fly); and a for-profit money machine (ESPN) and a non-profit (Alive & Kicking) both doing their own work to aid children and communities; and a host of other stories.

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our email address is and our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood. 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 (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the newsletter.)

So enjoy. And have a good week.

Fun Doing Good:

Lionel Messi Goal: Barcelona Star Sets El Clasico Record With Free Kick Golazo (video)
Even in defeat, Lionel Messi managed to astound.

Watch out! Padres Ball Girl’s Foul Ball Catch Saves Braves Bullpen
There are a handful of Major League ballparks with the bullpens located in foul territory instead of somewhere beyond the outfield wall. Petco Park in San Diego is one such park and the visiting Atlanta Braves learned the importance of being alert in such a setup on Monday night.

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George throws down 360-degree, through-the-legs windmill dunk in Shanghai (video)
If the dunk looks familiar to you, it might be because George’s Shanghai slam resembles the 360-degree windmill that he completed at the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend, though he’s since added the extra wrinkle (and difficulty) of going through his legs in mid-spin.

Athletes Doing Good

Matt Woodrum, Run With Me
SportsCenter tells the inspiring story of Matt Woodrum, an 11 year-old with cerebral palsy, and his incredible desire to compete with his classmates.

Rory McIlroy, Jumeirah’s Global Brand Ambassador, Wows Youth Golfers in New York City
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and its global brand ambassador, Rory McIlroy, joined forces to support a local community initiative in New York. Fresh from his second Major victory, Rory got back to basics with a junior golf clinic at the City Parks Foundation’s Junior Golf Center in Brooklyn. 

Beating the Odds: Paralyzed Haitian Earthquake Victim To Race in Paralympics
For any athlete, qualifying for the Paralympic Games is no easy feat. But for Haitian hand-cyclist Leon Gaisli, arriving at London’s athlete’s village this week was particularly improbable.

Events Doing Good:

Craven backs London Paralympic Games to be an unprecedented success
International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven believes the London 2012 Paralympics can set a new benchmark after record ticket sales and broadcast deals were unveiled for the event, which kicked off with the opening ceremony last night.

Bruce Lee Tribute Night – Bruce Lee Foundation & San Francisco Giants (video)
I am so excited to announce Bruce Lee Tribute Night at AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants) on Tuesday, September 4th!  The Bruce Lee Foundation has partnered with The San Francisco Giants to honor my father and raise funds for the Foundation.  Below is a fun video that the Giants organization put together to announce the event.

Leagues Doing Good:

FIA unveils electric dream
The International Motorsport Federation (FIA) on Monday detailed plans to launch a new ‘Formula E’ global series of city centre electric car races in 2014, with the commercial rights to the new initiative licensed to a Hong Kong-based consortium…Agag believes Formula E can provide an invaluable testing ground for the latest developments in electric car technology.

Media Doing Good:

Release of (a) “Knuckleball” (official trailer)
“This classic sports story recounts the 2011 journey of the last professional knuckleball pitchers: Tim Wakefield, a 17-year Red Sox veteran, and Mets up-and-comer R.A. Dickey. Together with just four other living knuckleballers, they shine a light on their remarkable brotherhood and the shared pursuit of honor and craftsmanship.” The movie “Knuckleball” will debut Sept. 18 in Boston and Sept. 20 in NY.

BYUtv Launches HD Multimedia Sports-Fan Website,
Combines entire BYU HD NCAA video archives and ESPN’s BYU vault with social media, user submitted content and gamification for highly individualized, interactive fan-based platform

YouTube shows its love for football with new channel launch
YouTube has furthered its presence in the football market by joining forces with the MP & Silva agency and digital specialist Rightster to launch a new channel dedicated to the best international football content. The channel will include highlights from Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, U.S. Major League Soccer, Brazil’s Serie A and the Championship, FA Cup and Capital One Cup from England.

More than a game; How football, the working man’s passion, united a father and son. (The Footballer Who Could Fly, by Duncan Hamilton)
Ever since the publication of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch 20 years ago, any number of British sportswriters with literary ambitions have chosen to write as much about the experience of being a fan as what happens on the field of play.

Organizations Doing Good:

ESPN Pledges $1 Million to The Boys & Girls Club and Family Center of Bristol
ESPN announced today its pledge of a lead contribution of $1 million toward construction of a new Boys and Girls Club and Family Center, in addition to its $400,000 gift in 2009 for land acquisition. The announcement was made by ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer in commemoration of ESPN’s upcoming 33rd anniversary (Sept. 7).

Pro Football Hall of Fame donating money to raise funds, awareness for Flight 93 memorial
The hall announced Thursday that it will donate $9.11 from every adult admission from Sept. 9-12 to the memorial, which was established on the site where the United Airlines flight crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, after passengers attempted to take back the jet from terrorists.

Alive & Kicking: Providing footballs, jobs and AIDS awareness in Africa
Alive & Kicking is a British charity providing jobs and health education in Africa, all through the humble football. Metro talks to those behind it as it announces a new project in Ghana.

Speeding Toward Hunger’s Finish Line
In a new cause marketing partnership, for a limited time, players of Zynga’s FarmVille will be able to boost their scores and improve their harvests while helping the nearly 9 million older Americans who face the risk of hunger…As part of this partnership, FarmVille characters appeared on Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet this past weekend at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

PGA of America, Trident United Way, and Kiawah Island Golf Resort Mark Fifth Year of Partnership in Links To Success
Begun in 2007 as a partnership between The PGA of America and Trident United Way during the Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Links To Success last year reached 2,000 students. When Links To Success began, the high school graduation rate within the region was 64.5 percent. The 2011 graduation rate jumped to 73.7 percent. To learn more about the 94th PGA Championship’s Community Relations Program, click here. For more,

Teams Doing Good:

Man City launches kids’ website City Kicks with John Brown
Barclays Premier League Champions Manchester City have launched a website aimed at targeting young football fans as part of a new kids’ membership scheme called City Kicks…The website includes games, competitions, match action, news updates and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, facts and information.

Silver Stars Raise $41,200 in Breast Health Awareness Auction
The San Antonio Silver Stars raised $41,200 in support of Breast Health Awareness by way of their annual jersey auction following the team’s victory against the Tulsa Shock on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the AT&T Center. The proceeds from the auction will benefit the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Systems Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU) and Silver & Black Give Back.

Commentary Doing Good:

Working Out Doesn’t Just Make You Stronger, It Makes You Smarter
This new infographic, from points out that exercise has some great benefits for not just how our body works, but how our brains work, too. It’s clearly important for kids, who need all the brain power they can get for school, but it’s equally important for adults: A fit worker is a fast, efficient worker.