Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #47

Feb. 17 – 23, 2013

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

There is so much good going on in and around sports that it is important for us to bring forth such compelling and diverse stories to your attention. We are proud of the variety of stories that we are able to present to you each week. No one person, place, or organization has a monopoly on doing good. Each and everyone has the potential to be counted.

With that in mind, we lead off with a story featuring a winning video entitled, “Our Time Has Come.” The title is appropriate as it reflects a change in the perception, and the reality, of those who, while disabled, are more than capable of playing and excelling at sports. The title is also appropriate for our stories dealing with gay athletes, a runner who has overcome homelessness and two bouts of cancer, a film series by ESPN that highlights powerful figures from women’s sports, and pioneering women in NASCAR (Christmas Abbott) and mixed martial arts (Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche.

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.

“Our Time Has Come” by Endless Abilities team wins IHCD’s #HOWCOOLISTHAT Video Contest
The video contest asked participants to make their case for why mainstream media should increase coverage of athletes with disabilities and disability sports. The submission by the Endless Abilities team highlights the theme and powerful message: “Our Time Has Come.”

You Can Play – Group hopes to take homophobia out of sports
Now there are signs of change. Straight athletes are supporting gay athletes in public service videos, antigay remarks from prominent athletes are met swiftly by public reprimands, and just this week, one of the NFL’s most visible players, Tim Tebow, cancelled an appearance at a Dallas church because its pastor has described homosexuals as “perverse.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, Nike’s Mark Parker to make P.E. announcement
“In addition to the health benefits of an active lifestyle, research indicates that regular physical activity can improve test scores, classroom behavior and attendance,” the release says. “Yet, only 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools currently offer daily P.E. and only 9 states require recess in elementary schools.”
First Lady Michelle Obama will join Nike chief executive Mark Parker in making what Nike is calling “a major announcement” about the importance of physical activity for children

One Sprinter, Many Hurdles
18-year-old Latipha Cross overcame homelessness and two bouts of cancer to earn a full track and field scholarship to Eastern Michigan University.

Eastern Michigan freshman Latipha Cross, right, hands off a relay baton to Lesha Hardiman in the 4×400-meter relay at the EMU Triangular on Jan. 11.

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Unite With Novo Nordisk and Charlie Kimball’s “Race with Insulin” Initiative
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and partner Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, announced today that their IZOD IndyCar Series driver, Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Honda), of the Race with Insulin™ program, has gained the support of his fellow CGRT teammates across NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM, combining for a Race with Insulin™ Unites initiative.

(RIP) Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss dies at 80
Fans will remember the real estate mogul for enjoying extraordinary NBA success — 10 championships in three-plus decades — but equally important to his legacy was a sense of showmanship.,0,5024446.story

Open Letter To Robbie Rogers From Fire Supporters Group WB05
Former Columbus Crew, Leeds United and USMNT player Robbie Rogers issued a statement via his blog, simultaneously coming out as gay and announcing he is stepping away from soccer. Fire supporters group Whiskey Brothers Aught Five (WB05) offers this open letter to Robbie in response.

Nine for IX: About Women. By Women. For Us All.
Pat Summitt’s life as it has never been told before. Venus Williams lobbying for pay equality. Female athletes balancing the double standard of being the best on the field and the sexiest off of it. These are just a few stories from ESPN Films and espnW’s documentary series, Nine for IX.
AP Photo/Wade Payne. Pat Summitt is the all-time winningest basketball coach (men’s or women’s) in NCAA history.

Female in the pits: Christmas Abbott is set to enter where few women have gone before
Ted Bullard, then of Turner Motorsports, always wondered why there had never been a woman member of a NASCAR pit crew and decided to do his own talent search. It was actually inspired by CrossFit. He joined a gym and quickly noticed several of the women could lift more than he could. Soon after, he saw one of Abbott’s CrossFit videos, loved her name and invited her to Charlotte for a tryout.–female-in-the-pits–christmas-abbott-is-set-to-enter-where-few-women-have-before-170207111.html
Christmas Abbott is set to become a pit crew member in NASCAR. (Poetic Edge photography)

History of Women’s MMA – Ronda Rousey-Liz Carmouche
UFC 157 live on Pay-Per-View on Saturday, February 23 features undefeated superstar “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey defending her UFC bantamweight title against Marine Corps veteran Liz Carmouche in the first women’s fight ever in the UFC Octagon.


Reebok: Huge New Campaign Touts Healthy Lifestyle
Reebok is kicking off a new global marketing campaign called “Live With Fire” about the more holistic benefits of exercise. Rather than using the tried and maybe-not-true method of using cyborg-level athletes whom most of us can only dream of being as proxies for products, Reebok is going more toward the real-people approach.
New USFL aims for new spring football league
With a plan to start play in spring 2014 with eight teams — ideally one in Hartford as the New England entry — the new USFL aspires to be the league that keeps players engaged in the game with the hope that they one day graduate to the NFL (think Triple A NFL).
Female will compete at regional combine for first time
Lauren Silberman of New York City will participate as a kicker. A club soccer player at Wisconsin, Silberman has taken a different path than your average college kicker. She wrote a Master’s thesis at MIT about how athletes use video games to enhance their own performance. She then founded a consulting company Double Play that helps athletes use video games for virtual training purposes.

NBA Players Help Outstanding High School Students Win $55,000 in Total Scholarships During the TACO BELL Skills Challenge
“As a company, we believe in ‘living mas’ – and that means doing more, expecting more and, most importantly, giving more,” said Greg Creed , chief executive officer, Taco Bell. “The annual TACO BELL® Skills Challenge is a fun way to bring this mantra to life while raising awareness of the importance of high school graduation on a national scale.”
PyeongChang 2013: Challenging attitudes towards intellectual disabilities
The Special Olympics World Winter Games took place on 29 January – 5 February 2013. sportanddev talks to Seung-Hoon Lee, responsible for international relations at PyeongChang 2013, about the impact of the games.
Newtown girls basketball fulfilled their mission
The only hint that this Jan. 22 game is unique comes when the Panthers from Pomperaug High in nearby Southbury go over to the Nighthawks to present them with white warm-up shirts similar to the ones they’re wearing. On the front, both sets of shirts have a now-familiar town seal attached to a blue-trimmed black ribbon. The backs are different, though. The Panthers’ shirts read: YOU’RE NOT ALONE. The Nighthawks’ read: NEWTOWN STRONG.
Tony Spinelli/ESPN.  The Newtown girls huddle for a moment of silence before a game against Pomeraug.

Saint Louis Rams RB Ganaway is ‘freaky fast’ on the field and at the counter
Ganaway works out just about every day; twice on some days. But for 12 hours each week, it’s all about the sandwiches. Not unlike an NFL rookie, Ganaway has struggled to learn his sandwich-making playbook.
Rams running back Terrance Ganaway working at Jimmy John’s on Fourth Street in Waco, Texas.

Slum Soccer wins FICCI India Sports Award
We are immensely pleased to announce that Slum Soccer has been awarded the prestigious FICCI India Sports Award for the “Best NGO Promoting Sports” category. FICCI, or the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is the largest and oldest business organisation in India. It is non-governmental and not-for-profit.

UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador Michael Ballack gets a first-hand look at the impact of AIDS on South Africa
In his role as UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador, the German football star Michael Ballack conducted a 3-day mission to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he learned about the impact of HIV on communities and used his star-power to raise public awareness of the epidemic.
Mary Cain has made the scene; 16-year-old junior from Bronxville, N.Y., turning heads on national stage
Many track and field enthusiasts first took notice of Cain last year, after she started working with renowned coach Alberto Salazar. Those late to the game recognized her talent this January when she broke the indoor high school record for the mile, which had stood for 41 years. Or perhaps they learned her name two weeks later, when she smashed the previous high school record for two miles by a mind-bending 17 seconds.