Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #63

June 9 – 15, 2013

Welcome to week sixty-three of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

We have another great week of stories involving good. From the amazing bond between Dick and Rick Hoyt to the perseverance of the MLB’s Ed Lucas, from the wonderful gesture made by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the enduring legacy of the NBA’s Drazen Petrovic, we are blessed with stories that recognize the efforts of those who in their own ways change the landscape of sports and society for the better.

One story this week was especially poignant for us as it involved a situation that I and my brother had to go through as soccer players and at least one time, it did not involve as positive a response as the story featured this week. In “Brossard soccer team dons turban in solidarity” soccer coach Ihab Leheta encouraged his 14-year old players to not only be athletes but to be sportsmen as well. Upon the passing of a rule banning turbans/head covering in youth soccer games, Coach Leheta took action. With the support of his players and their parents, the coach headed off to the Sikh temple before a big match and borrowed 20 orange scarves that the boys then donned as turbans at their game. “I was so proud of them,” Leheta said. “(They understood) that today it’s Sikhs (being banned) and tomorrow it’ll be someone else.” While the rule still stands, the actions taken by Coach Leheta and his team send a message loud and clear that the rule has its opponents and may not last for too much longer.

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.

Brossard soccer team dons turbans in solidarity
Soccer coach Ihab Leheta sees his role as not only instilling a love for the game in his young protégés, but also teaching them some life lessons — such as speaking out when they witness injustice. The ban on turbans by the Quebec Soccer Federation, despite medical evidence that they pose no danger and a directive from the Canadian Soccer Association that they be allowed, offered Leheta, who coaches under-14 players in Brossard, such an opportunity.

Soccer player Yiannis Amir, right, with teammates Thomas Plante St-Cyr, left, and Kairbek Mourtazov wear turbans during practice of FC Brossard U14AA on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Poly-Arena park in Brossard. Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, THE GAZETTE

ESPN’s ESPYS to honor Dick and Rick Hoyt with Jimmy V Perseverance Award
Rick Hoyt, 51, was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands and legs. His father, 73, pushes him in a custom-made running chair during events including 5K and 10K races, marathons and triathlons. The Hoyts, who are legendary in Boston and were recently honored with a bronze statue erected at the start of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., started running together in 1977 in a 5-mile race. They finished second-to-last. After the race, Rick Hoyt told his father, “When I’m running, I feel like I’m not handicapped.”
Video –

MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks draft paralyzed Arizona State player Cory Hahn in 34th round
Hahn, a member of USA Baseball’s 18U national team, is a C5 quadriplegic, becoming paralyzed from the chest down being injured in a slide at second base in a February 2011 game against New Mexico. He was just a week into his freshman season for the Sun Devils when he was injured.

Drazen Petrovic’s requiem; Legacy of the player once known as Mozart lives on in NBA 20 years after his death
It wasn’t until midway through his second season that Petrovic saw that opportunity, as he was traded to New Jersey early in the 1990-91 season, a deal largely pushed for by both him and LeGarie. He was a young man desperate to prove himself. For Petrovic, conquering Europe was not enough, for he lived his life in a certain order of work and progression. In Petrovic’s world, self-satisfaction was a trap, stagnation intolerable.

Drazen Petrovic left a lasting mark on the basketball world with just four seasons in the NBA. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Miami Marlins’ Ed Lucas’ 10-year wait is finally over
Then, at the end of another May in another remote corner of nowhere, Ed was warming up for his 925th minor-league game and his 3,732nd at-bat when his New Orleans manager walked to the outfield and told the team to gather around. “It’s my pleasure to announce Ed Lucas has been called up,” he told them. The team flew together in high-fives and hugs, and Lucas felt “hot” – the physical feeling when all your emotions rush together and gather at the fringes of your skin.–10-year-wait-is-finally-over-195830055.html

Ed Lucas spent 10 years in the minor leagues before finally getting called up. (Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills’ Marquise Goodwin has a special inspiration, his sister
“She inspires me to do everything. So, yes, I dedicate it to her,” Marquise said. “If Deja wasn’t my sister, I feel like I would still be motivated but not in the way that I am today. Having a disabled sister, that’s a lot more motivation, especially when she tells you growing up that she wishes she can be out there with the kids playing and she wishes she can be out there running around.

Bills rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin is not only playing for himself, but also for his sister, Deja. AP Photo/David Duprey

Cal’s Tierra Rogers inspires from sideline
Yet for Rogers, the last five years may have seemed endlessly long. At the same time, it might feel like only yesterday when she heard her father, Terray, remind her to get out and shoot her free throws, and just minutes ago she was last on the basketball court, dribbling a ball, passing to a teammate…Rogers’ losses, 20 excruciating months apart, have been well-documented. She was perhaps the greatest girls prep basketball player ever in San Francisco. She was playing for the two-time defending state champion when her father was killed.

Tierra Rogers fought the adversity of losing her father and her basketball career to make it to her graduation day at Cal.

Chauncey Billups wins NBA’s inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award
“I pride myself in being a good human being and a good teammate, and obviously this is a Teammate of the Year Award, but I think more importantly, it’s about just being a good person,” the five-time All-Star and 2004 NBA Finals MVP said after receiving the award.

NBA Commissioner David Stern presents Chauncey Billups the Twyman-Stokes Award. (Photo via @NBA)

David Cohen: “Doing Good” – An Athlete and Entrepreneur “Pays It Forward”
David Cohen founded the nonprofit Playing It Forward in 2008. Since 2011 he has also been the executive director of Doc Wayne, a nonprofit that offers at-risk youth an innovative group therapy experience through sport. In this interview, David tells us how lucky he feels to be able to use his love of sport to help children who have been dealt a difficult hand.

Tommy Carroll – Skating Blind, Breaking Barriers
Enter Tommy Carroll, a 20-year-old skateboarder who was born with cancer of the retina. He lost his eyes and his sight at the age of 2 and has lived since with prosthetic eyes. Because he lost his sight at such a young age, he has no memory of being able to see. While some might perceive being blind as a limitation, Carroll takes it in stride. He has a long history of overcoming challenges because, “I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents who didn’t baby me from the start,” Carroll said.
Video –


Congratulations to the 2013 Beyond Sport Awards Shortlist
Congratulations to the Shortlist of the Beyond Sport Awards 2013,which were selected from just under 400 entries from more than 125 countries. The nominated initiatives will be brought to the Beyond Sport Summit 2013 in Philadelphia September 9-11 where the winners will be announced.

Washington Redskins make eight-year-old’s dream come true
Brock got to hang out in the locker room with Morris and his teammates, got a few punting tips from Sav Rocca, tried on London Fletcher’s very large helmet, and enjoyed a private passing tutorial with Robert Griffin III. And on the last play of practice, Brock hit the field, took a red-zone handoff from backup quarterback Rex Grossman, and eluded several Redskins defenders for a touchdown.

Lateef Brock warms up with his new quarterback. (AP)

NFL And Athlete Ally Debut Gay Pride T-Shirt Line Featuring Football Stars
Athlete Alley, a nonprofit organization fighting for equality in organized sports, have teamed up with the NFL Players Association to produce a line of Pride shirts entitled, The One Team Pride Shirts, to show their support for the LGBT community. Nine players, including one of the more vocal straight allies Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe, have lent their names and jersey numbers to the line of shirts.

Incredible journey: Paralympian Ryan Chalmers to end cross-country push in wheelchair
The Paralympian braved the heat of California, the snows of Utah and a lot of steep climbs on his trip from Los Angeles to New York—dubbed Push Across America. He’s been doing it to raise both awareness for people with disabilities and money for Stay-Focused, a nonprofit that helps kids with disabilities learn to scuba dive.

Deaf beach volleyball players launch crowdfunding campaign to get to Deaflympics
Sanders and Nancy Moore, former standout indoor volleyball players at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., were selected along with another pair of deaf beach volleyball players (Michelle Skowzgird and Shana Lehmann) to represent the U.S. next month in women’s beach volleyball at the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. They’ll be seeking the U.S.’s first-ever gold medal in the event—that is, if they can raise enough money to get there.

MLS, players’ union partner on anti-discrimination campaign with You Can Play
MLS Commissioner Don Garber calls it “a strong statement that we are a league that stands against discrimination” and says the league will provide “a safe environment where everyone is treated equally, and with dignity and respect.”

Keeping Kids Safe While Playing Sports this Summer
Once the weather starts to get nicer, kids will begin spending more time outside engaged in activities such as bike riding, swimming and organized sports. As they run around, ride their scooter and play baseball or tennis, they will inevitably get bumps and scrapes, which is a normal part of childhood. It’s up to you, however, to prevent the bigger injuries and illnesses related to these activities. Here are a few tips to get you started while you plan out your summer activities.

Broncos, Rockies, Avs bring former stars back into organization
The Broncos’ John Fox is the only current Denver “big four” pro coach or manager who never played for the home team, but he believes what the Rockies and Avalanche have done is a refreshing trend. And everyone knows who his boss is: Elway, the most famous athlete in the history of the state.

John Elway is once again the Duke of Denver while running the show for the Broncos, who have won back-to-back AFC West Division titles under his watch. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

Play Rugby USA To Launch The Global Rugby Collaborative
Play Rugby USA is proud to announce a new development in their efforts to create “A Better World Through Rugby”. Today they have launched the public face of the Global Rugby Collaborative (GRC), a new effort spearheaded by Mark Griffin and Play Rugby USA to unite and support Rugby for Good organizations around the world.

Institute of Medicine: Kids need daily hour of physical activity, PE should be core subject
The report advocates a “whole-of-school” approach where recess and before-and-after-school activities including sports are made accessible to all students to help achieve the 60-minutes-a-day recommendation for physical activity. It could be as simple as having kids walk or bike to school, or finding ways to add a physical component to math and science class lessons.

Quick Links…~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Our WebsiteMore About Us
Our goal is to have Sports Doing Good be a portal housing original content and excerpts from and links to the increasing number of articles, websites, video, and other media that showcase the good in sports and society. We aim to celebrate those concepts, activities, events, and individuals by highlighting them for a wider audience. Much of the news today, whether sports- related or not, is incredibly negative and increasingly polarizing, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good, with a focus on sports.Our mission is to have Sport Doing Good be a consistent, and significant, contributor to the areas of sports, social responsibility and development. We look forwarding to partnering with other stakeholders in producing content, in creating and/or sponsoring athletic and service events, knowledge sharing, and conferences/seminars, and even having a commercial arm that could be the source of innovative social businesses.We invite you to send in news, press releases, and guest pieces for possible publication, and email us with suggestions about the content and format of the newsletter and Sports Doing Good website.
Contact Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sarbjit “Sab” Singh