Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #57

April 28-May 4, 2013

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

Each week we are able to highlight stories that may have not been covered by a lot of media outlets. That is one of our goals – to bring added attention to the people, teams, leagues, companies, etc. that are doing good things in the area of sports.

This week the world of sports was presented with a huge story. NBA player Jason Collins, who has been in the league for 12 years, came out as being gay. Seemingly every media outlet covered the story. While other athletes, some currently playing and others retired, have come out before, Jason was the first U.S. active professional team sport male athlete to do so.

At Sports Doing Good we are not ignoring the Jason Collins story but we are not featuring it either. We expect that you have seen the story and had a chance to read about it, at least once or twice. However, to add to the conversation taking place, we offer a piece first published in early February at Bonfire Impact. We wrote this piece with the idea that soon, there may be a Jason Collins out there. And of course, there was.

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

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.

D.J. Hayden: Incredible journey from life-threatening injury to first-round draft pick. (video)
Before the University of Houston’s tenth game during Hayden’s senior season, DJ suffered a life threatening injury in practice. He collided with a safety in a passing drill where the safety’s knee struck DJ in his chest. The collision tore the inferior vena cava in his heart. The injury itself is most commonly seen in high-speed vehicle accidents and the fatality rate is 95%.
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On the battlefield of sports, nothing super about DADT (from Bonfire Impact)
In sports, we talk about integrity, sportsmanship, loyalty, fair play, determination and courage. To live up to those ideals, it would be nice to see our leaders – Goodell (NFL), Selig (MLB), Stern (NBA), Bettman (NHL), Blackmun (USOC), Emmert (NCAA) – take a stand as Secretary Gates and his brethren have done. Promote a policy that does not require people to lie about, or hide, who they really are. With such a policy in place, everyone will have a better chance to win.

A Punjabi Broadcast Draws In New Hockey Fans
The weekly Punjabi broadcast of “Hockey Night in Canada,” as venerated an institution for Canadians as “Monday Night Football” is for Americans, is thought to be the only N.H.L. game called in a language other than English or French. The broadcast marries Canada’s national pastime with the sounds of the Indian subcontinent, providing a glimpse of the changing face of ice hockey.

Kevin Krigger: History Aside, Jockey Is Just Out to Win
At that moment, it did not matter to Krigger that he was the first black jockey to win the Santa Anita Derby in its 78-year history. Or that he was poised to become the first black jockey to ride on the first Saturday of May since 2000. Or, bigger still, that he had a speedy and sturdy horse under his 5-foot-6, 110-pound frame, one that has a solid shot of making him the first black jockey to win the Kentucky Derby since Jimmy Winkfield won two straight, in 1901 and 1902.

Ann Johansson for The New York Times

How the NBA can optimize players’ health, output
The company that churns out a million points of data for each NBA game is now looking to go even deeper, mining those numbers for insight into players’ fitness and training with an eye toward someday preventing injuries before they happen.

Street Soccer Bay Area’s Norman Ruano-Rodriguez who proves that a little investment is all it takes to help actualize an individual’s potential
Norman Ruano-Rodriguez’s recent job offer highlights the interconnectedness of non-profit social enterprises and businesses that are all devoted to the greater good. Norman joined the national non-profit Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) as a player for the Bay Area team in 2011. Street Soccer USA’s mission is to deliver a life skills curriculum through soccer to men and women residing at homeless shelters, rehab centers, youth service centers and agencies that serve the homeless and poor.

Brooks Laich and the Capitals Make Local Teen’s Wish Come True
“Emily was awesome,” said Laich following the experience. “A huge hockey fan – a very bright, intelligent girl. It was an honor for me to meet her.” After the game Laich presented Emily with his jersey during the team’s Jerseys Off Our Backs ceremony, part of Fan Appreciation Night.

Carroll Academy Lady Jags: Losing to Win (video)
The Carroll Academy Lady Jags have lost 213 straight high school basketball games, but they use sports as a way to win in life.
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Bridging the Gap: Washington Spirit players living at Rockville retirement community
When Robyn Gayle and Diana Matheson, teammates on the Washington Spirit pro soccer team, learned where they would live this summer, they thought someone was playing a prank. The world-class athletes who won bronze medals at the 2012 Olympics for Canada were to live at a retirement community in Rockville.

How being late to work one fateful day launched ZogSports
ZogSports not only promotes camaraderie and exercise, but each team adopts a charity and donates to it — a total of $1.8 million so far, according to the company’s website. In New York, its 13 leagues include touch football, soccer, volleyball, kickball, softball, dodgeball, touch rugby, floor hockey and basketball. It also operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Atlanta and New Jersey.


The National Football League Foundation Donates $100,000 to The One Fund Boston
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Kraft Family have been generating donations online that will be distributed via The One Fund Boston. The Kraft Family challenged their community to raise money and pledged to match donations up to $100,000.  With the contribution from the NFL Foundation, the Kraft family announced Thursday that $617,000 has been raised thus far.

Philadelphia Eagles Tackle Chess With Local Students (video)
Local chess students and Eagles players participated in the 10th Annual Eagles Chess Tournament on Tuesday at Lincoln Financial Field’s SCA Club. The event was sponsored by ASAP (After School Activities Partnerships) and the Eagles Youth Partnership

NASCAR’s Race to Green initiative plants 150,000 new trees
Race to Green asks teams, tracks, drivers, official NASCAR partners and fans to donate trees to areas recently devastated by natural disasters. Seventeen of NASCAR’s official partners contributed to the effort, including UPS, Sprint, Ford Motor Company and Featherlite Trailers, which extended its partnership with NASCAR earlier this year.

Four ways sport for development programmes can build smart corporate partnerships
The line between the non-profit and private sectors is softening. Businesses now account for social and environmental impact, and charities market and sell their services in an increasingly competitive space. This creates huge opportunities for mutual sharing of assets across sectors.

Participants on the Laureus Operation Breakthrough project in Hong Kong.

Synchro de Mayo: A Struggling U.S. Sport Throws Itself a Party
In an effort to pull synchronized swimming from the shower-drain of sports obscurity, a revamped governing body has declared May “Synchro de Mayo,” a push to expose newcomers to the sport through performances and free lessons. The hope is that expanded membership in USA Synchro will attract corporate sponsorship and build the U.S. team, said the national governing body’s new executive director Julie Swarts, a former gymnast and coach who also works as a gymnastics judge.

Getty Images.  Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva were the only Americans to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in synchronized swimming.

 Proceeds from new Ndamukong Suh t-shirt to support pediatric brain cancer research
Hoffman and his family have taken advantage of the new-found fame, using it to raise awareness and money for brain cancer research and treatment through the Team Jack Foundation. Current Detroit Lions star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who played football at the University of Nebraska from 2005-09, has also been a supporter of Hoffman.

Manchester City to compete in WSL top tier after restructure
Manchester City Ladies will compete in the top flight of the women’s game for the first time in their history. The Women’s Super League has been expanded into two tiers of eight and 10 teams from 2014, an increase from the previous single division of eight.

Ryan Howard delivers home run at request of blind young Phillies fan (video)
Also included in the ceremony were the young children who nominated their teachers for recognition. Among them was a blind 7-year-old boy from Hopewell Elementary School named A.J., who had nominated his Braille teacher. The young fan, who was diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), then got to meet Ryan Howard down on the field. That’s an awesome night right there, but what happened next was pretty close to magical for everybody involved.

Allianz extends commercial commitment to Paralympic movement
In addition to the global and local partnerships, Allianz will also be involved with IPC Athletics in order to build excitement around the Paralympic Movement. The IPC Athletics Federation organises all athletic sport disciplines and events throughout the season, including wheelchair racing, shot put, running, long jump and so forth.

Saudis allow some girls’ schools to offer sports
The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women’s rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics.

Associated Press/Hassan Ammar, File – FILE – In this May 21, 2012 file photo, members of a Saudi female soccer team practice at a secret location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.