Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #41

Jan. 6 – 12, 2013

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

Each week at Sports Doing Good we present about 20 stories. They come from a variety of sources and cover an array of topics. And we present them in no particular order nor group similarly themed-pieces. However, this week, we saw that our first four stories all had to do with the lifelong joy of, and now we know, lifelong need for, play and exercise.

Multiple studies have come out that discuss the importance of play for healthy bodies and positive mental health. Kids, adolescents and adults are on average happier, have more friends, have higher self-esteem, and are more personable if they exercise or play sports, especially team sports. These are all wonderful traits that we encourage people to develop. Now more than ever, it seems that by encouraging individuals to play, we are also encouraging their overall well-being. In addition to the stories below, please visit our blog at  Sports Doing Good for more discussion about the importance of play. (“A Sacred Amendment? How about the right to play?”)

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood, and you can find us at We anticipate 2013 being just as robust when it comes to the number and quality 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 (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the email)

So enjoy. And have a good week.

Keep recess in play, pediatricians urge

Recess is good for a child’s body and mind, and withholding these regular breaks in the school day may be counterproductive to healthy child development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ first policy statement on the issue.

Recess time offers schoolchildren an opportunity for unstructured play and interaction with other kids, a study finds.(Photo: Jose Leiva, The Lewiston Sun-Journal, via AP)

Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain
Anyone whose resolve to exercise in 2013 is a bit shaky might want to consider an emerging scientific view of human evolution. It suggests that we are clever today in part because a million years ago, we could outrun and outwalk most other mammals over long distances. Our brains were shaped and sharpened by movement, the idea goes, and we continue to require regular physical activity in order for our brains to function optimally.

Why Exercise May Do A Teenage Mind Good
In the survey, researchers found that teenagers who took part in organized sports had a more positive self image and greater self esteem than teens who weren’t physically active. They were simply happier, more grounded and less likely to engage in problematic behavior, “like social withdrawal and anxiety, getting into trouble, aggressive behavior with others,” says Kazdin.

Members of the boys basketball team from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, celebrate their 2012 state championship victory. Psychological research shows that sports camaraderie improves teenagers’ mental health.  Charles Pulliam/AP

Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun
A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

The Inclusive Sports Initiative at the Institute for Human Centered Design Launches Video Contest
The Initiative launched #HOWCOOLISTHAT social media campaign on UN Human Right Day. As we would like to make this campaign bigger and move the dialogue around mainstream coverage of disability sport forward, today we are launching a Video Contest as part of our campaign. Through this competition our Inclusive Sport Initiative team wishes to engage as many people as possible and encourage their expression and thoughts through the creation of videos.

Anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s Death: Nicaragua Honors Baseball Star’s Legacy 40 Years After Passing
Throughout his career, Roberto Clemente visited Nicaragua several times as a member of his native Puerto Rico baseball team, quickly building strong relationships with its people. When the Central American country suffered a devastating earthquake in 1972, the player immediately expressed solidarity with victims by shipping supplies and aid.

Soccer Night in Newtown helps community heal
They came together from every part of the country, a Who’s Who of U.S. soccer, to support a town in pain. Soccer Night in Newtown took place here on Monday night, three weeks after the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and everywhere you looked there were fútbol players engaging the 1,200 kids from this soccer-loving community who filled two 90-minute sessions.

Landon Donovan was one of many U.S. soccer stars who participated in Soccer Night in Newtown.  Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Studevent takes on bullying; Lady Lions senior was bullied as a teen, starts program to help middle schoolers
Studevent knows bullying can happen to anybody because it happened to her. Yes, she is good enough to attend Penn State on a basketball scholarship. She is physically striking. She is bright. But she was also bullied. Bullied for so long as to have little choice but to change high schools in hopes of salvaging her spirit.

Jeff Golden/Getty Images. Penn State coach Coquese Washington was blown away by Gizelle Studevent’s “level of idealism.”

Toronto Blue Jays receive Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence
The Blue Jays are being honored for the “Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy,” a series of initiatives to help support youth across Canada and provide them with opportunities on and off the field of play.

Allan H. (Bud) Selig presenting the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence to Toronto Blue Jays President & CEO Paul Beeston at the Owner’s Meetings in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Journalism Career on Indefinite Hold as Bo Schultz Takes His Power Arm to Bid for D-Backs Job
I became intrigued with Bo Schultz some time back, not entirely for his baseball talent because it was said he was not a major league prospect, but largely in that he came out of the prestigious Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern and was likely to become a baseball journalist. It seemed writing might take center stage sooner rather than later because of his projected level of pitching skill.
(Independent Baseball Insider by Bob Wirz Vol. 11, No. 1, January 10, 2013)

The Ball’s Still Bouncing For Wright; Eight months ago, Iowa’s Chris Wright almost had basketball taken from him. Now, he’s playing better than ever.
While it was his physical ability being threatened, it was his mental edge that helped him persevere, Wright said. Despite the reports and the harsh realities of M.S., that he always believed he’d play basketball again. “It was frightening for a minute, but I never once got down about it,” Wright said. “It was just like, whatever the process is; I’ll do what I have to do.”

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

The Sama-Sama Cup: Promoting unity and providing opportunities through football
The Sama-Sama Cup aims to promote and defend social equality through football in the Philippines, and the second annual tournament took place on Boracay beach in December 2012. Here, sportanddev talks to founding partner Marko Kasic about the tournament and its impact.

Williamsport High School Named 2nd Annual “Fight Like Dylan Award” Recipient
In honor of Dylan’s character, courage and consideration of others, Russell will award a $50,000 team uniform and equipment grant to Williamsport High School for demonstrating determination through athletics.

Pictured L-R: Williamsport baseball and volleyball coaches David Warrenfeltz and Emily Crabtree, Brendon’s grandfather and father John and Chad Colliflower, Russell Athletic’s Skip Nickle, Samantha Kelly’s mother and brother Jonna Vinci and Jack Kelly, Dylan Rebeor’s mother Heather, sister Kelsie and stepfather TJ. (PRNewsFoto/Russell Athletic)

Sports Commission to Host St. Louis Youth Sports Summit
Hundreds of parents and coaches attend free sessions informing and inspiring those involved in youth sports. The event featured appearance and remarks from women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm.

NYSCA Select training program unveiled to assist coaches of travel and advanced-level teams
The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS), America’s leading authority on youth sports since 1981, is excited to announce the launch of National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA) Select, its newest volunteer coach education program aimed at preparing coaches for the ever-challenging role of working with and instructing travel teams and advanced level athletes.