Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #77

Sept. 15 – Sept. 21, 2013

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

Many stories we include each week are infused with elements of determination, perseverance, teamwork, and/or courage. And in sports, as the past 76 weeks have shown us, there is no shortage of stories that can and should be told.

This week we include, possibly for the first time and definitely not the last, a story that made us laugh. We have not purposely ignored such stories. It is just that many humorous sports stories involve athletes failing at something and we are focused on the opposite, i.e. outstanding performances.

But this week we came across a sportscaster with an incredible handle on old-school rap references and a winning way of incorporating them into one of the best sports reports you will ever hear. So kudos to Adam Lefkoe for his encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop and his ability to have fun with sports.

In addition to Adam, we have another group of great stories, including: gymnasts Chellsie Memmel and Gabby Douglas; the Urban Dove charter school; University of Colorado and Colorado State athletics; Street Soccer: New York; hockey goalies Alex Stalock and Josh Harding; NFL star Troy Polamalu; baseball player Wladimir Balentien; and swimmer Kim Vandenberg; amongst others.

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.

A Test of Will, With a View
The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, an abusive mountain tour through three countries, began Aug. 30 with 2,469 runners. About 104 miles later, 1,686 of them had completed the loop back to Chamonix, France. For those who endured to the finish line, a view of Mont Blanc was waiting. There was no prize money.

Carnegie Exclusive Interview: Chellsie Memmel
Chellsie Memmel is an Olympic gymnast, 2005 World All-Around Champion, and has a historic seven World and Olympic medals to her name. She is an athlete ambassador for Kids Play Int’l, an organization that focuses on using sport as a vehicle to promote gender equity in communities impacted by genocide to help women and girls reach their full potential.

Urban Dove: One school going against the grain
Jeff Glor visits the Urban Dove Team Charter School in New York City, dedicated to enriching the lives of the city’s at-risk youth with a fitness- and sports-based curriculum.

CU Athletics Assists Boulder Community In Crisis
On Saturday, the University of Colorado Athletic Department and CU student-athletes hosted approximately 800 Boulder flood victims at Folsom Field…“Our student-athletes and the athletic department really care about this community,” said Colorado Athletic Director Rick George. “This event is a way to help them through all the devastation they’ve dealt with over the past several days.”

CU wide receiver D.D. Goodson helps serve one of the many displaced Boulder residents from this week’s floods.

Bootleg in Focus – Street Soccer: New York
Filmmakers Dan Hedges and David Murphy follow a team of homeless New York City soccer players as they train for and compete in the Street Soccer USA Cup, an annual 16-team soccer tournament for the homeless. Both inspiring and thought-provoking, the film avoids moments that could be portrayed as mawkish, whilst never feeling exploitive either – a really quite special film.

Gabby Douglas is ‘back to the grind’ in gym
With the goal of helping kids overcome adversity through sports, the Olympic champion spent Sunday at the Harlem Armory in New York City as part of the Right To Play Gymnastics Festival…For the Right to Play event, a partnership with USA Gymnastics, Douglas joined two-time Olympic medalist Jonathan Horton and Alicia Sacramone, captain of the 2008 U.S. team, as athlete ambassadors, giving kids an introduction to basic gymnastics.

(Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)

Sports Anchor Adam Lefkoe Returns With 46 ‘Classic Rap’ References
The last time we checked in on the Louisville sports anchor, Adam Lefkoe, he dropped 41 references to “Seinfeld” crowd-sourced from Twitter during his live report. This time around he uses the same method to infuse a whopping 46 references to “Classic Rap (Hip Hop artists and lyrics).” Watch the old school magic unfold above.
(Video –

Sharks goalie Stalock unbowed after adversity
After being helped off the ice, Stalock made his way straight to the trainers’ room, where the team’s medical staff found a cut. At first, Stalock was relieved. Further examination, though, showed his peroneal nerve — the nerve that controls movement and feeling in the lower leg, foot and toes — and tendon had been severed. He was taken away in an ambulance for surgery. Said Sharks coach Sommer: “I thought his career was done.”

Alex Stalock’s perseverance has paid off with another shot at an NHL job.  Jason O. Watson/USA TODAY Sports

Troy Polamalu Will Cut Hair For First Time In 10 Years To Benefit Charity
According to Sporting News, Polamalu has long been an advocate of veterans programs. He runs the Harry Panos Fund, a charitable veterans foundation named in honor of his wife’s grandfather, who served as an artilleryman in World War II. Polamalu’s haircut will take place as part of the VFW’s “Mane Event,” which seeks to gather donations via pledges (and dares) to have donors cut their hair in various styles.
(Video –

The Roberto Clemente Award Nominees have been announced
The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Clayton Kershaw won it last year.  The 2013 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.


18 Blogs Helping You Be a Good Sports Parent
If you’ve ever been to a youth sporting event, you have probably seen those parents that go crazy over a missed call or shot. You may have even been the parent screaming at the coach on the sideline, exclaiming that the referee made a bad call. It can be easy to let your competitive nature come out during a youth sporting event, however this behavior can teach your kids all the wrong things about sportsmanship.

NHL Goalie Helps Others With Multiple Sclerosis
Awarded the N.H.L.’s Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, Harding spent the off-season establishing Harding’s Hope, a charity benefiting multiple sclerosis patients struggling to afford medication and treatment. Harding said he was aghast to learn that a year’s supply of M.S. drugs cost $60,000 to $70,000. His N.H.L. health insurance picks up most of the costs, but Harding knows not everyone is so lucky.

Wild goalie Josh Harding missed much of last season because of his multiple sclerosis but returned in time for the playoffs. Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

CSU to honor flood victims in nationally televised clash with Alabama
“This no doubt is a tremendous opportunity and a great challenge for our football program to play Alabama,” McElwain said in a statement. “But at the same time, as the Colorado State University, it is not the most important thing we carry in our hearts. We have had thousands of people across our state affected by the recent floods. We are very thankful for everyone involved in rescue and recovery efforts now taking place to assist those people affected by the flooding.”

Kim Vandenberg: Still Swimming Strong
Last fall, she moved to New York to pursue interests outside of swimming, and while she’s still competing, she has become an Ambassador for Up2Us and Kids Play International. Up2Us is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood obesity, reducing youth violence, and improving academic performance through the power of sport. Kids Play International is a non-profit that also uses sport as a catalyst to promote gender equity in communities impacted by genocide.

Former MLBer Wladimir Balentien Breaks Japanese HR Record
Former major leaguer Wladimir Balentien hit his 56th and 57th home runs on Sunday, breaking the Japanese single-season record set by legendary slugger Sadaharu Oh 49 years ago…Balentien, a native of Curacao, played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds before signing with the Swallows in 2011. He hit a Central League-leading 31 homers in each of his first two seasons in Japan.

Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

Mom plays matchmaker for WNBA star Swin Cash
As she watched her daughter pick up a ball for the first time on the court outside their apartment window, it was clear to Cynthia that Swin possessed a similar talent. Surrounded by her cousins, many of whom lived in the same public housing development, Swin was schooled early and often on the blacktop. “Being out there able to compete with the guys, it wasn’t about, ‘Hey, I’m a girl,’ it was just about having fun,” Cash said.

Swin Cash counts two NCAA titles, two Olympic gold medals and three WNBA championships among her list of accomplishments. Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

Man Blinded by Tumor Finds New Hope in Baseball
Jimmie Burnette lost most of his sight after having a brain tumor surgically removed. He says his lost of sight was devastating, but he has found new hope in an unlikely place–the baseball diamond.

Jimmie Burnette, who lost his vision to a brain tumor in 2010, practices batting during a blind baseball workout in Atlanta on July 13, 2013. “Right now, I just try to take it day by day, one step at a time. BEEP baseball is helping me out. It takes away from me thinking about I’m less than a man, Now I realize I’m still the same man, just have to do things differently now,” he says. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The George Washington University Welcoming 2nd Cohort to Sports Philanthropy Program (enrollment still open)
The Certificate in Sports Philanthropy offers a ground-breaking curriculum tailored to the unique needs of those who work for professional sports teams, leagues, athlete foundations, sport-related companies with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, nonprofits using sports for social good and those looking to enter the field.  There are twelve courses that make up the Sports Philanthropy curriculum.  Courses are offered online and students can participate from anywhere.  Enrollment for the second cohort is open until October 9, 2013.  The program kicks off in Washington, DC on October 23, 2013.  For more information visit

Front RoWe: Clemson managers inspire team with special gifts
This week on Front Rowe, Holly Rowe gets an inside look at Clemson football managers David Saville and Brad Hammond, who have Down syndrome, and the inspiration they bring to the team.

Paralympian Cody has the right credentials for IPC vice-president role, says US Paralympics
The claim was made by general secretary Charlie Huebner, who believes that Cody, who is a multiple Paralympic medalist representing the US at the 1984 Paralympics in wheelchair basketball before competing as a wheelchair racer at 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona, has all the right credentials to take on the role. “Ann has an outstanding record as an athlete and executive in the corporate and sport sectors,” he said.

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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