Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #72

Aug. 11 – Aug. 17, 2013

Welcome to week seventy-two of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

We regularly feature incredible, inspiring stories of athletes of all ages, races, nationalities, etc. We are moved by their skills, technique, perseverance and overall talent level. There is also usually a question of just how did these athletes achieve what they did? You would think they needed everything lined up – physical and mental tools, emotional and financial support, proper equipment, etc. – in their favor to make these things happen.

Maybe never as clear as this week we are witness to a collection of athletes and individuals who seek greatness for themselves and others, despite shortcomings that would limit most others. We have two stories featuring athletes – Zach Hodskins and Nick Newell – who are missing part of one of their limbs but are excelling at their respective sports. We also are proud to offer a story of a collection of sportsmen and women, the Long Island Bombers, who, while visually impaired, are engaged in our national pastime, even having their own national championship tournament.

And are we wrong in saying these are “limitations?” These individuals and thousands of others are competing at all levels, seeking the benefits from sports that we all do. No doubt there individuals and organizations out there who helping to make these opportunities to compete available. But when it comes down to it, it is the athlete who must go out there and make it happen.

So in addition to Zach Hodskins, Nick Newell, and the Long Island Bombers, we tip our hat to: Sporting Kansas City, Francis Ouimet, One World Futbol Project, 8-year old Jay Fair, Adam Scully-Power, Special Olympics and everyone else who inspire others and provide support for all individuals to fulfill their potential.

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

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Inspiring one-armed basketball star offered spot with Florida Gators
“When I’m out [on the court], I forget my arm isn’t there and just play ball,” Hodskins told the News-Herald of Northern Ohio. “Passion and love for the sport helps me overcome all obstacles. To this day I haven’t come across anything I can’t do.”
(Video –

Emotional Ken Griffey Jr. honored by Seattle Mariners
The pregame ceremony capped a two-day celebration of Griffey’s career. He spent 13 of his 22 seasons in the majors with the Mariners and was the face of the franchise for most of the 1990s. He was drafted by Seattle in 1987 with the No. 1 overall pick, made his debut at the major league level two years later and went on to have one of the finest careers in baseball history.

Griffey finished his career with 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and was a 13-time All-Star.
Elaine Thompson/AP

Vision-impaired players score with beep baseball
“I’m enjoying getting to know the young players and teaching them the game,” he said. “But not only that, this is an awesome social outlet for visually impaired and blind people. You get to meet other people and see how everybody else functions. We talk to each other, and if they can learn something from me, I get the thrill out of that.

At the National Beep Baseball World Series games in Columbus Ga., Jim Hughes poses with a special softball that emits a loud beep so players can identify its location. (July 31, 2013)
Photo credit: Robin Rayne Nelson / ZUMA |

All-Star: MLS WORKS, Sporting Kansas City unveil opening of community-tying futsal courts
The court will be used to host clinics and one-off tournaments throughout the year, but there are no gates and its main function will simply to be open for use as the community sees fit. Ficklin said the club had identified more than 30 similar tennis courts throughout the area, all candidates for the same treatment.

Bigger than the game: Francis Ouimet’s legacy lives on a hundred years after his historic U.S. Open title
A hundred years later it is still one of the greatest individual achievements in sports history and a seminal moment in the development of golf in America. Ouimet’s monumental victory over two of the game’s top players created a public demand in the U.S. for a game that was at the turn of the 20th century primarily the domain of the rich at private country clubs.

In 1913, 20-year-old Ouimet, center, defeated Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff to become the first amateur winner of the U.S. Open. AP Photo

Former UNC basketball coach Dean Smith and Cubs HOFer Ernie Banks to get Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor and is given to individuals “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to the White House.

MMA fighter Nick Newell proves he’s ready for prime time (follow up from Week 55)
Nick Newell earned notoriety early in his mixed martial arts career for the fact he was pursuing a dangerous occupation as a congenital amputee who was born without a left arm below the elbow. But the Milford, Conn., native’s goal was never simply to be a fighter who overcame a disability. Newell wants to be known as an elite lightweight, period.–nick-newell-proves-he-s-ready-for-prime-time-011657403.html

Major League Gaming: Seeking to Be Both N.F.L. and ESPN of Video Gaming
M.L.G., as the league is often called, has played a central role in turning video games, once considered mere entertainments, into an organized, and highly lucrative, form of sport…Since its start in 2002, M.L.G.’s Web site has hosted millions of viewers who log on in the evening to watch its competitions and then click on to YouTube in the morning to catch the latest highlight reels of matches they missed.

Sundance DiGiovanni, at left, and Mike Sepso, the founders of Major League Gaming.  Jabin Botsford/The New York Times

SC Featured: Redefining Strength (Innercity Weightlifting)
Innercity Weightlifting, founded by Jon Feinman, is an organization just south of Boston that reaches out to men who society gave up on long ago and teaches them about true strength.

Staubach’s Heisman, piece by piece
“One of the reasons is that I’ve always looked at it as a team award, because if I don’t have a really good team that year, I don’t come close to winning the Heisman,” Staubach said. “That team was one of the most special teams I’ve ever been a part of, and we’re still very close.”I think that Heisman was part of the glue, not because it’s my Heisman. It was the team’s Heisman.”

AP Photo/Jacob Harris


One World Futbol Project Reaches Milestone on Third Anniversary; Company Has Delivered More Than 500,000 Nearly Indestructible One World Futbols Impacting an Estimated 15 Million Youth Worldwide
Launched in July 2010, One World Futbol Project makes, sells and distributes the One World Futbol, the world’s first, nearly indestructible ball that never needs a pump and never deflates—even when punctured multiple times—making it ideal for play in all types of terrain and harsh environments.

Eight-Year-Old Donates Shoes to Kevin Durant Charity Foundation
Jay Fair, an 8 year old from Rowlett, Texas, decided to forgo birthday presents this year, instead opting to collect brand-new pairs of shoes for children who were affected by the tornadoes that swept through Moore, Okla. in May. “I follow severe weather constantly and have always wanted to be a storm chaser when I grow up,” Fair said. “I’m also really into sports so when I heard Kevin Durant made a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, it got me thinking I could do something too.”

Little League to Introduce Drug Education Program
Little League Baseball plans to introduce an educational program for coaches and volunteers intended to raise awareness about the use and dangers of performance-enhancing drugs among young players. Working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation, Little League hopes to have an online program ready for the 2014 season.

Nick Symmonds blasts Russia on gay rights at Moscow track championship
“As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them,” he told the news outlet at Luzhniki Stadium. “Whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there’s anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”

© REUTERS/ Dominic Ebenbichler

A 163-mile run for those who couldn’t
People found out about his run and started beeping their car horns and shouting encouragement along the way. Some even ran with him. Throughout that Friday and overnight as he went, money poured in. Scully-Power raised more than $25,000. And a grueling run that lasted more than 40 hours, without sleep, went by surprisingly fast.

Adam Scully-Power ran to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Receives StubHub Rising Star Award
StubHub Rising Stars is an international philanthropic programme to highlight outstanding grassroots non-profit organisations, improving access and opportunities for at-risk youth through sports and the arts…The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation will use the grant towards the provision of a new early years schools tennis programme targeting inner-city primary school students (4-11 years old) and an after-school programme in deprived communities across the north London boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Barnet and Waltham Forest.

MMA organisation Resurrection Fighting Alliance teams up with Adidas
Raul Montolfo, national director of sales and product development for Double-D/Adidas Global, said the RFA partnership is a better fit for the company than a deal with the UFC as Adidas is keen to associate itself with rising MMA stars.

Fans’ groups and anti-racism body to share £1m from Premier League
That represents an increase on the £800,000 a year the fund currently receives, with the organisations also encouraged to find new streams of funding so they are not wholly reliant on the arm’s length Fans’ Fund.

The sports minister, Hugh Robertson, will have talks with English football’s governing bodies about improved supporter engagement. Photograph: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

Florida Panthers And JetBlue Airways Return To Puerto Rico For Hockey Festivities On Aug. 13-14
On Tuesday, August 13, Gudbranson, Panthers staff and JetBlue will visit San Jorge Children’s Hospital from 10-11am where they will hand out goody bags and visit with the children. On Wednesday, August 14 the Panthers and JetBlue will conduct a street hockey clinic for more than 100 children between the ages of 5-16 at the Boys & Girls Club Las Margaritas in Santurce. The Panthers will also be donating a package of street hockey equipment to the Boys & Girls Club.

Coca-Cola unveils ‘biggest and most expansive’ Special Olympics push
Liz Lowe, corporate responsibility and sustainability manager for Coca-Cola GB, told Marketing Week it wants to tap the “wave of enthusiasm” the British public has for disability sport after last year’s Paralympic Games to help establish a ”stronger” Special Olympics brand. Additionally, the campaign marks what the company claims is a “milestone” year in its ongoing association with the event.

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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.

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Contact InformationSarbjit “Sab” Singh