Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #69

July 21 – July 27, 2013

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

This week we lead off our first block of 10 stories with one about track and field and finish with a story about the Tour de France bicycle race. These are two sports that have had more than their share of not-so-good moments, especially as it relates to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Just recently we had several champion runners implicated and of course dealt with the Lance Armstrong situation last year.

Despite these latest transgressions, we are happy to highlight world champion sprinter Usain Bolt and the pageantry of the 100 year old Tour. In each case we are witness to the beauty of athletic effort, of determination, and ultimately, great victory. It is too much to put on any one person or race the responsibility for a sport’s reputation and credibility, no matter how great the runner or the race is. So we won’t do that. What we will do is feature these two and encourage the purity of effort that we regularly see at all levels of sports, that which we aim to showcase each week at Sports Doing Good.

In addition to Usain and the Tour, we are proud to feature: cancer-survivor Cole Johanson; Stanford basketball alums Shelley Nweke and Morgan Clyburn; former boxing champion Emile Griffith; the Harold Hunter Foundation; the second-annual BTN Big 10K; British Open champion Phil Mickelson; super-agent Casey Wasserman; homeless soccer in NYC; and soccer superstar Thierry Henry; amongst others.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Champion Usain Bolt wants to inspire fans weary of doping
“I was made to inspire people and to run I was given a gift and that’s what I do. I’m going to continue running and using my talent and help the sport.” Bolt is long used to his role as his sport’s beacon of hope and with every failed test his position becomes more important to athletics’ credibility.

Jamaica’s sprinter Usain Bolt speaks to journalists during a news conference one day before a Diamond League athletics meet in London July 25, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

Teen designs Air Jordans after conquering cancer
Considering Cole is 14 years old and already a cancer survivor and the author of an insanely popular shoe design, you’d think he’s going to coast through high school. Not so. He’s got big dreams to chase. “I really like to cook,” he said. “I’d like to be a chef. I’d like to be a writer. A lawyer sounds good. We have debates in class and I always win.”–teen-designing-air-jordans-while-conquering-cancer-011752983.html

Registration for the 2013 Global Peace Games for Children and Youth is now open.
The Global Peace Games are an opportunity for young people all over the world to demonstrate their commitment to make the world a better and healthier place and their central role and solidarity in the mission of global friendship, peaceful solutions and nonviolence. All sports can take part in this event (not only soccer/football), registration is free and all activities that contribute to the themes of the Games are encouraged. Registration instructions are included in the attached document.

Stanford Alums spreading the hoops gospel
In April 2011, Clyburn and several other Stanford alumnae flew in and hosted two clinics over five days in Suriname’s capital, Paramaribo. One clinic was for the Suriname national teams and the other was for local girls. Donated uniforms and equipment greeted the girls, some of whom had walked miles to attend. About half of the capacity crowd didn’t have sneakers.

A pair of former Stanford players are trying to help young girls learn about basketball through clinics. Ryan Dapremont

This NYC skateboarding nonprofit transforms the lives of low-income youth
How do we provide inner-city youth with valuable experiences that nurture individual creativity and resourcefulness, develop life skills, and enable them to expand their horizons through travel and service? Skateboarding, in the truest sense, provides kids with freedom—the freedom to take control of their lives, their bodies, the world around them, and their futures.

NFL’s Legends Program to aid alumni
Vincent said the NFL Legends Program should ideally make former players “still feel appreciated for their contributions to the game.” The program will include bolstered outreach to NFL alumni for team and league initiatives like homecoming festivities, community events and the “Heads Up Football” initiative with USA Football that was created to teach proper tackling techniques to youth players.

Paris at the Speed of Sneakers
Under the guidance of certified coaches who lead the runs and direct traffic, runners with the Nike Running France crew get a twilight tour of Paris every week, charging past major landmarks like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, thundering through the underground Metro tunnels and gliding past confused outdoor cafe drinkers.

A Nike Running France group jogs in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Lauren Fleishman for The New York Times

Baseball League Creates ‘Islands’ Of Refuge For Camden Kids
But after recently securing $3.5 million for the rehabilitation of Pyne Poynt, Morton is hoping Camden can reclaim some its former glory. And he thinks baseball might have something to do with it.

A.J. Ramos bounds across the flooded infield to retrieve a ground ball. Gabe Dinsmoor for NPR

More than 12,000 runners set for BTN Big 10K on July 27 in support of Special Olympics Chicago
The BTN Big 10K and 5K run/walk just got super-sized. More than 12,000 runners have already signed up for the second-annual event, more than double the amount of runners who participated last year. Special Olympics Chicago is this year’s charitable beneficiary for the second annual BTN Big 10K.

Tour de France: 25 Stunning Photos From 100 Years of Racing
100 years of grueling Tour de France races through spectacular French scenery have produced some amazing photos. From breathtaking panoramas to fascinating black-and-white portraits, the images provide a fantastic look back at one of the grandest events in sports.


Emile Griffith: The Gentle Champion
Through his fighting days, right up until he was hospitalized a few years ago, Emile attended dinners and charity functions on a regular basis. He endlessly signed books, autographs, gloves and photos, never asking to be paid, when he could have and should have. He took photo after photo, always with a smile.

Korean-Americans come together to watch Choo at GABP
The CKAA arranged with the Reds to have Choo meet with the delegation near the Reds dugout well before the game and have his photo taken with them. Also stopping by for some photos, autographs and smiles was Brandon Phillips.

Florida Panthers And Dex Imaging To Host School Supplies Challenge From Now Through Aug. 12
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment announced today that the Florida Panthers (@flapanthers) have partnered with DEX Imaging and Rick Case Automotive Group to host a School Supplies Challenge that will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. All school supplies collected at the various drop-off locations throughout Broward County will be given to students prior to the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Jacksonville & Oklahoma City celebrate 2015 NASL expansion franchise spots
NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson: “We are delighted to be expanding to two cities that clearly have a passion for soccer, where we believe local fans will be excited to welcome our newest teams.”

NBA HOFer Magic Johnson Opens Alternative Schools In Chicago
According to the web site, the schools offer programs suitable to a student’s “schedule, lifestyle and learning needs.” School days are abbreviated and flexible with an emphasis on online learning tools. The schools are free for students to attend.

Getty Images

Science Lowers Shattering Risk at Home Plate
With Mr. Kretschmann’s information in hand, baseball changed the specifications for its maple bats. Handles had to be thicker. The wood had to meet a minimum density. The weight-to-length ratio could not fall below specified limits. And the grain in the bat could not deviate more than 3 percent off the true path of the grain in the original wood.

Brandon Belt’s bat shattered as he popped out to end the San Francisco Giants’ June 26 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Phil Mickelson: Technology was key to my British Open win
The British Open winner will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange Friday to promote awareness about the importance of science and technology in education. For the ninth year running, Mickelson host an academy at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City for third, fourth and fifth grade math and science teachers to help keeping young students motivated in these key educational fields.|finance|headline|headline|story&par=yahoo&doc=100917079|Mickelson:%20Technology%20key

USA Today Sports

Bill Clinton and Casey Wasserman Reveal Secrets of Their Friendship, Philanthropic Bond
Clinton, 66, enjoys a particularly close partnership with Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of the L.A.-based Wasserman Media Group, one of the largest sports agencies in the world. Wasserman, who calls Clinton a philanthropic “mentor,” has joined him in efforts to combat the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. Recently, both men talked with THR about their commitment to that issue and others.

Casey Wasserman and President Bill Clinton, photographed by Austin Hargrave on June 7 at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles.

Homeless Soccer Takes Over Times Square
In soccer, Cann saw an opportunity to encourage homeless men and women, most of whom were between the ages of 18 and 25, to take a risk. He could teach them to show up to regular practices and develop schedules. He could make them feel confident, teach them to deal with outbursts of anger, to help support their friends — to make friends at all.

Thierry Henry Soccer Challenge for Grassroot Soccer
“Grassroot Soccer is all about using role models and the power of soccer to motivate and educate young people on how to live healthy lives,” commented Gregg Lemkau, Goldman Sachs Managing Director and GRS Global Board member. “Thierry Henry is not only a soccer star but a great role model for young people around the world. Goldman Sachs Gives and GRS are excited to turn his skills on the field into tangible life skills for young people.”

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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.
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