Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #39

Dec. 16 – 22, 2012

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

Sacrifice is a theme that we’ve seen in so many of the stories we have been fortunate to feature over the past 10 months and this week is no different. From athletes taking time to reach out to family members of those lost at Sandy Hook, to an Olympic champion altering his famous look for those less fortunate, connecting with others directly or indirectly can have a major impact on their emotional and physical well-being. The athlete is sometimes offering their time, money, and occasionally even their reputation to better the lives of others who are in need or are trying to help those in need. So when an Olympic champion skier divulges her personal battles so that others may find inspiration, that is sports doing good. We hope that you find what you are looking for in that and the rest of this week’s 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.

Athletes Comfort Families Of Victims In Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting
Amid last week’s shootings in Newtown, Conn., several sports figures have lent a helping hand to the victims of the tragedy. (incl. Derek Jeter, Victor Cruz, Chris Johnson)

NY Yankees star Derek Jeter rached out to Donna Soto, the mother of fallen Newtown teacher Vicki, just hours after she laid her daughter to rest. (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)

Olympic champion Shaun White Cuts Hair For Charity
On Tuesday, White decided to chop off his flowing locks for a good cause. White cut off his signature hair and donated it to “Locks of Love.” With the nation still in mourning after the tragic attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it is great to read and see these feel good stories that help us restore our faith in humanity. It was a great act of kindness on White’s part.

League trumps rugby in charity boxing
Plenty of punches landed but there was no serious damage as rugby league came out 3-1 winners in its rivalry with rugby union in a charity boxing event in Auckland. NRL players Paul Gallen, Greg Bird and Manu Vatuvei all won their bouts over three two-minute rounds at the Fight for Life for prostate cancer awareness.

Nike, TechStars team up on boot camp for athletics startups
Nike Inc. and Boulder-based TechStars have teamed to create a boot camp to help launch startup companies creating products and services for athletes. The Nike+ Accelerator will hold its first three-month session for 10 startup companies starting in March in a space near Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

Sports can lead in dealing with mental health issues
It used to be that almost no one talked publicly about the serious issue of mental health. But last week, the most decorated skier in U.S. history, Lindsey Vonn, announced in People magazine that she has suffered from depression for years, but says it is now under control. 

U.S. ski racer Lindsey Vonn reveals in People magazine that she has battled depression for years. (Photo: Nick Didlick)

The 2012 Shootaround (or the year according to Grantland)
Everything from Messi’s 86 goals to mascot Presidents, from “Little Chris Paul” to U.S. Olympic basketball gold, from a Heisman Trophy winner to Mr. LeBron James, and so much more.

Doha Goals signs off with project pledge
Organisers of the Doha Goals Forum have pledged to select and implement projects from among more than 200 ideas generated during the two-day meeting of sports leaders, legends and students which closed in the Qatari capital on Wednesday.

Washington Capitals’ broadcast teams liven up high school hockey games as NHL lockout drags on
The Capitals might be inactive because of an NHL lockout that is fast approaching 100 days, but the production staff is bringing a professional touch to high school hockey games in the area, watering the grass roots of the sport during a season in which the professional version is withering.

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) – Caps announcer Wes Johnson sets up to announce the Stone Bridge-Loudoun County hockey game.

PwC sponsors Dallas Maverick’s Trees for Threes Program For Third Consecutive Year
Part of the Dallas Mavericks overall Guard the Planet initiative, “Trees for Threes” will plant a tree for every three-pointer the team makes at home during the regular season as well as the postseason.

Celebrity Athletes Team Up with Foot Locker Foundation and
Foot Locker Foundation and announced today the celebrity judging panel for the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program who will help narrow the playing field from thousands of scholarship applicants to 20. Now in its second year, the program honors 20 exceptional student athletes with $20,000 each in college scholarships (totaling $400,000) for demonstrating academic excellence and exemplifying strong leadership skills both in sports and within their communities.

Former NFL QB Jon Kitna finds ‘gold mine’ at his troubled old high school
Before he left the Dallas Cowboys to come home again, Jon Kitna had one request of the two principals who run Lincoln High School: Give me your worst students… He is sitting at a teacher’s desk in the front of a classroom not long before his Algebra I class. Everything has changed in 20 years. Things seem worse now. There are so many more drugs. The poverty shocks him.–former-nfl-qb-jon-kitna-finds-%E2%80%98gold-mine%E2%80%99-at-a-school-where-other-teachers-only-saw-problems-194739063.html

Jon Kitna prepares for an algebra class at Lincoln High School. (Yahoo! Sports)

The George Washington University’s School of Business has launched the first ever academic program in the field of sports philanthropy.
The Certificate in Sports Philanthropy offers a ground-breaking curriculum tailored to the unique needs of those who work for professional sports teams, leagues, athlete foundations, sport-related companies with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, nonprofits using sports for social good and those looking to enter the field.

Blind Surfer Defies Limitations by Conquering the Banzai Pipeline
Surfing big waves in the ocean is a skill that takes a lot of practice, technique, balance, and talent. In fact, even experienced surfers have the occasional wipeout and sustain injuries in their pursuit of the big waves. The combination of skill and danger makes Brazilian surfer Derek Rabelo’s story all the more incredible.

Chris Colabello Got the Call Every Player Yearns to Receive
Chris Colabello is trying not to use his cell phone much while playing in Mexico this offseason, but he took the one call this week every Independent player—make that every baseball-playing hopeful—dreams of receiving.

Bubba Watson fulfills big need; Golfer donates cash to local kids hospital, food ban
Watson, with his golf sponsor, Ping, donated $250,000 toward the construction of an orthopaedic gait lab in the new Motion Analysis Laboratory at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and gave $20,000 to the food bank, which Watson said will go toward providing more than 60,000 meals to families in the coming days.

Council for Responsible Sport Awards TD Beach to Beacon 10K Silver Certification
2012 race diverts 67 percent of its waste from the landfill, becoming the first sporting event in Maine to have its socially and environmentally responsible event production practices validated by the Council.

International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS) providing free sports equipment to children in need throughout New Orleans
The IAYS, through its Global Gear Drive sports equipment distribution program, has begun sending much-needed sports gear to the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) Foundation as part of a special initiative to provide long-term support to the foundation’s youth sports programs.