Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #35

Nov. 18 – Nov. 24, 2012

Welcome to week thirty-five of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

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We hope everyone had a restful and joyful Thanksgiving. Starting around this time every year, we start to hear the common but still meaningful phrases, “Happy Holiday,” “Merry Christmas,” and “Happy New Year.” We want our friends and family to be healthy and happy, to enjoy life’s major and minor victories. With Sports Doing Good, we feel we are sending good thoughts and wishes to you not just during this season but year-round.

We want to highlight one of our favorite programs that has become a staple of this time of year. CNN Heroes is a terrific campaign sponsored by the cable network that highlights those doing amazing things in service of others all around the world. Two of this year’s Heroes (Wanda Butts and Scott Strode) have a sports connection and we finish up this week’s newsletter featuring them. Before reaching their stories, you will the opportunity to read about: one writer’s good feelings about sports in 2012, a new charter school (Urban Dove) in Brooklyn that leverages sport to make a difference in the lives of the students, an NFL player (Scott Wells) who showed that the love we can offer kids is not bound by geography, a partnership that combines working out with helping out those in need (NYSC and NY Cares), an NBA team (Orlando Magic) donating a portion of its ticket proceeds to help the homeless, and the strength of an MLBPA executive (Michael Weiner) who is dealing with a life-defining illness, amongst other stories.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

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There’s still a lot to be thankful for in sports
The bad stuff is easy. You read about it almost every day; hear it discussed endlessly by the talking heads on radio and television. But if sports is a microcosm of society — and it is — then there’s a lot of good going on, too. And, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, here are some things to be thankful for this year that have nothing to do with wins and losses, the World Series or the Super Bowl.

The return of sports to Brooklyn with the NBA’s Nets (and guard Deron Williams, pictured) is one thing for sports fans to be thankful for in 2012. Wilfredo Lee / The Associated Press

Fit for Learning: A new charter school in Brooklyn uses a sports-oriented curriculum to engage high-risk students
In addition to the mounds of research testifying to the health and social benefits of physical activity for young people, there is a growing literature on the cognitive benefits. A 2009 University of Illinois study found that students can better focus their attention and perform better on certain academic tests right after exercise.

After tragic loss, Wells family finds joy by adopting Ugandan orphans
Seven years ago, Scott Wells and wife, Julie, lost twins sons shortly after birth. This summer, Rams center adopted three orphans to expand family to six kids. On Thanksgiving, Wellses will remember lost sons and be thankful for new gifts.

Rams center Scott Wells doubled his family size when he and his wife adopted three Ugandan siblings.

NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins Launch PensFIT at Bethel Park
PensFIT is a three-year initiative designed to introduce children to the sport of hockey and facilitate physical activity by providing elementary and middle schools with complete sets of floor hockey equipment.|PIT|home

Division III Guard Nets 138 Points For Scoring Mark
Grinnell’s Jack Taylor didn’t just amend the NCAA’s record books when he scored 138 points — a new collegiate high mark — in his team’s 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible Tuesday night. The Division III star wrote a new chapter. He stops by SportsCenter to talk about his 138 point night against Faith Baptist Bible.

Laureus Sport for Good Summit 2012
Representatives from over 100 Laureus funded projects in 34 countries met in Barcelona for three days of workshops and discussions for learning and collaboration among the community.

New York Sports Clubs Partners with New York Cares for “Work Out to Help Out” Initiative
In an effort to provide relief to the more than 30,000 people left homeless in Sandy’s wake and help rebuilding efforts across the tri-state region, the New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) is partnering with New York Cares – the city’s largest volunteer organization – to launch the “Work Out to Help Out” fundraiser this Thanksgiving weekend.

Following grassroots effort, world’s richest man takes control of Spanish club Oviedo
Arturo Elias Ayub said that interest in Oviedo had been sparked by the fans’ efforts to save their club. “We have been following the movement (to save) Oviedo, which I would say has been global, and we thought it would be interesting to join in,” he told AS.

Bones Brigade’s wheeler dealer
Pro skateboarder turned filmmaker Stacy Peralta takes a suitably maverick approach to the marketing of his new ‘Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.’,0,2914303.story

Well Equipped to Be Innovators
In an era when adults make the news for accosting soccer referees and filing lawsuits against Little Leaguers, Laurie Cronenbold offers a welcome reminder that some parents are making life better for young athletes.

NBA’s Orlando Magic Donating Portion of Ticket Purchase to Coalition for the Homeless
The Orlando Magic is teaming up with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in recognition of National Hunger and Homeless Awareness month in November. The team will donate $10 from every ticket purchased for the November 23 game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers back to the Coalition.

Djokovic, Kuerten score in charity football match
Novak Djokovic and former three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten both scored in a charity football game played before a Brazilian league match in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

United Way Teams Up with Colorado Sports Teams to Promote TeamSmile
United Way Colorado invited more than 200 children to receive dental care valued at $60,000 from 100+ dental professionals as part of TeamSmile.  This year, the event was hosted by Colorado’s six professional sports teams – Colorado Avalanche, Denver Broncos, Colorado Mammoth, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Rockies.

The National Sportsmanship Awards Renamed “The Musial Awards”
The St. Louis Sports Commission revealed that the National Sportsmanship Awards are being renamed in honor of St. Louis sports icon and Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial.—National%20Sportsmanship%20Awards%20Are%20Renamed%20The%20Musial%20Awards.php

Pop Warner to Change Football Rules – Sports Reaction Center Comments on Concussion Prevention
The nation’s largest youth football organization is banning some common drills and telling coaches to spend two-thirds of their practice time on non-contact activities, part of a wider crusade to reduce the risk of head injuries that can reverberate for a lifetime.

After disappointing breakup with Knicks, Jeremy Lin building a better relationship with Rockets
Most of all, this past year reinforced one of the most important talents a point guard can own: an ability to rise above the chaos, make smart, shrewd choices in chaotic, congested moments.–after-disappointing-breakup-with-knicks–jeremy-lin-building-a-better-relationship-with-rockets-14461809.html

Sports Philanthropy, Good Will On Tap For Pre-Thanksgiving Edition of “Sportfolio” on Bloomberg TV
“Christmas Story The Musical” Star Dan Lauria Discusses Transition from Athlete to Actor, Packers Greg Jennings Talks Charity, Harrie Bakst on Philanthropy and Sports Following Superstorm Sandy.

Michael Weiner: The good fight
Michael Weiner, executive director of the MLBPA, discusses all of the support he has received from around baseball since discovering that he has an inoperable brain tumor.

Signed jerseys from his constituency — teams throughout baseball — speak to the affection the players have for Weiner.

CNN Hero: Wanda Butts
In memory of her son, Wanda Butts started the Josh Project, a nonprofit that’s helped more than 1,000 children in Ohio learn how to swim.

Blazing a trail for young black swimmers
On the cinder-block wall in the manager’s office of the Adamsville Natatorium are photos of two heroes: Martin Luther King Jr. and Sabir Muhammad.  Here, at this pool in a predominantly black neighborhood of southwest Atlanta, it’s easy to see why Muhammad, 36, looms large.

CNN Hero: Scott Strode
Scott Strode’s nonprofit provides free athletic activities and a sober support community to thousands of participants in Colorado.

Replacing addiction with a healthy obsession
In his memoir, “The Long Run,” Mishka Shubaly chronicles his journey from “irreverent young drunk” to ultra-runner. The author sobered up by running five miles at a time, then 10, then 50.  It was Shubaly’s editor who first suggested he write about his road to recovery.

Mishka Shubaly celebrates another run in his fight against alcohol addiction.

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