Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #105

March 30 – April 6, 2014

Welcome to week one hundred five of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s first 10 stories include:

  1. International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – “Sport has its own language, and everyone can speak it. It’s a language of hope, where anything is possible.” (video)
  2. Boston Marathon: A special return for Team Hoyt
  3. Next Goal Wins: The Story Of The Worst Team In The World
  4. Brooklyn Boxer Rises, but Her Feet Stay on the Ground
  5. More than a Game – Street Child World Cup
  6. We Wish The Colorado Rapids April Fools’ Day Uniforms Were Their Permanent Uniforms
  7. Auburn Football: Shon Coleman’s Incredible Cancer Comeback Story
  8. Florida’s Billy Donovan on cusp of elite company as Gators shoot for title
  9. Jaclyn Murphy, the Inspirational Cancer Survivor and Founder of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Receives Her Very Own Upper Deck Trading Card!
  10. The 25 Most Influential Women in Sports

We are happy to be able to send out the latest newsletter on the day that has been selected as the 1st International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. In partnership with the UN, the IOC has long championed the power of sport and this day acknowledges the need for even more concerted efforts to touch all of us around the world with sport, health, and physical activity. According to the IOC,

“On 6 April, the IOC and the Olympic Movement will be joining in global celebrations of sport as a catalyst for social change, development and peace in a number of ways including: showcasing how their contribution to sports development has benefited people; use this day as a platform to call for action, and advocate greater investment in sport, related infrastructures, physical education and access to sports programmes.”

We applaud these global organizations along with the millions of individuals, organizations, communities, and corporations that in their own way are contributing to achieving these lofty and absolutely worthwhile goals. Each of those featured in this week’s and all of the past newsletters are in that group.

Some of those featured this week include: father and son marathoners Dick and Rick Hoyt; the American Samoa soccer team; Brooklyn boxer Heather Hardy; Street Child World Cup participants; college football player Shon Coleman; college basketball coach Billy Donovan; young cancer survivor Jaclyn Murphy; Major League Baseball Charities; the MLS’s Portland Timbers; and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans); 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

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – “Sport has its own language, and everyone can speak it. It’s a language of hope, where anything is possible.” (video)
In the space of a few minutes, and on the occasion of the first-ever International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April, Olympians, international leaders and young people in the above video remind us how sport unites and inspires; how it can break barriers and make a real difference in communities and countries across the world. The clip features unforgettable sporting moments and actions at grassroots level alike.

Boston Marathon: A special return for Team Hoyt
Inclusion was the centerpiece of the Hoyt family mission after Rick was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Dick and his wife, Judy, chose to ignore the recommendations of some physicians to institutionalize their son and instead treated him like they would any other child. With the help of a computer that assisted in his communication, Rick blossomed, graduating from Boston College in 1993 and racing alongside his father — who pushes him in a custom-made running chair — in those 1,000-plus events with unwavering enthusiasm.

Dick and Rick Hoyt, known as Team Hoyt, were a mile from finishing their 31st Boston Marathon in April when the race was halted due to the bombings. AP Photo/Stew Milne

Next Goal Wins: The Story of the Worst Team in the World
What they discovered was a rewardingly eclectic, totally amateurish collective who, despite a serious lack of ability and tactical acumen – enthusiastic at best, flat-footed at worst – might just have the spirit and boyish endeavour to reverse the odds. They just needed someone to help them channel their passion.

Brooklyn Boxer Rises, but Her Feet Stay on the Ground
In the ring, the petite, 5-foot-5 boxer is a formidable brawler, wearing the colors of Ireland and two blond braids. “I’m not a pretty fighter,” she said. “I fight like a boy.” She is intent on putting on a good show: People may come to see the male headliner, “but I have to make them remember the girl,” she said. Her fans, especially those from Gerritsen Beach, are passionate at her fights. Celebrities — including 50 Cent, Rosie Perez and Susan Sarandon — have been in the audience.

Heather Hardy, also known as “The Heat,” takes a moment before heading into the ring at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2013. Vincent Cianni

More than a Game – Street Child World Cup
The Street Child World Cup in association with Save the Children is a global movement for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children are entitled to. On Friday 28 March our 10 day flagship event kicks off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over 230 children from 19 countries will participate in a girls’ and a boys’ football tournament, a festival of arts and a participatory conference for children’s rights. We believe that no child should have to live on the streets.

We Wish The Colorado Rapids April Fools’ Day Uniforms Were Their Permanent Uniforms
The Major League Soccer team announced on Monday that the burgundy and white design was out and a new leather fringe and short-shorts design was in — the former uniforms of the Caribou of Colorado, a North American Soccer League team that played for only a single season in 1978. The announcement was of course an April Fools’ prank, but we kind of wish it wasn’t — the fringe and shiny jackets are magnificent and would clearly lead any team to victory.

Auburn Football: Shon Coleman’s Incredible Cancer Comeback Story
In Auburn’s game against Arkansas State last September, Coleman’s three-and-a-half year journey from cancer patient to active college football player was complete when he stepped onto the field for his first in-game action. “It’s great to see a guy that’s battled cancer come back and have a shot to start in the SEC,” Auburn left guard Alex Kozan said. “He’s been through some real hard stuff, and to come back and be able to do the things he’s done is impressive.”


Florida’s Billy Donovan on cusp of elite company as Gators shoot for title
To get to this point, Donovan has maintained the same unrelenting discipline and quest for self-improvement that he held as a player. He’s always searching for an edge, be it in a health drink, with a fishing lure or his maniacal daily workouts. He’s made difficult staff decisions, frequently consults mental coaches and always asks a simple question: “How can we be better?”

With his passion and ability to adapt, Billy Donovan has Florida two games away from another title. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jaclyn Murphy, the Inspirational Cancer Survivor and Founder of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, Receives Her Very Own Upper Deck Trading Card!
This week Jaclyn Murphy heard news she will always remember when her father let her know Upper Deck wanted to create her very own “Heroic Inspirations” trading card. This week she received a larger than life version of the card. Upper Deck will be producing other larger versions that Jaclyn will sign and use for charitable benefits and events tied to Friends of Jaclyn. Upper Deck will also be producing standard card-sized versions that will be donated to Friends of Jaclyn and used for charitable purposes. Upper Deck plans to create trading cards for other kids in the Friends of Jaclyn program as well.

(PRNewsFoto/Upper Deck)

The 25 Most Influential Women in Sports
Though women who have the talent and ambition to be leaders and make a difference still face challenges that simply do not apply to their male counterparts, we experience the kind of access to new opportunities those from past generations never could have imagined.

Graham Denholm/Getty Images


LeBron James Meets Teen Fan With Cancer, Says ‘She’s The Stronger One Out Of Us Two’
A little more than a month later, on Saturday night, Ebony’s dream came true. According to, Ebony thought she was just going to watch the Miami Heat play the Milwaukee Bucks. But then, a Bucks representative led her to the Heat’s locker room. She then ran onto the floor with the team, practiced with LeBron and stood by him during the national anthem.

Major League Baseball Charities and The Partnership at Announce the Fifth Annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards
The awards are an extension of both organizations’ comprehensive efforts, including the new Play Healthy website, to educate families on the risks of steroids and performance-enhancing substances, and to recognize youth coaches and student athletes who embody the spirit of teamwork and healthy, drug-free competition.

FIH signs landmark partnership with Loughborough University
A key project of the partnership will be to work towards the development of a “new and dynamic”, entertainment-focused complementary game designed to help hockey reach new markets. Loughborough’s highly-acclaimed School of Business and Economics will also be a key contributor and will assist the FIH to develop a strategic 10-year plan that will run from 2014 to 2024. Today’s announcement follows on from the FIH’s recent decision to change the game from two halves to four quarters, a move which aims to improve the quality and flow of the sport in time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Scouts’ Honor: International scouts Craig Shipley and Mike Lord plucked Xander Bogaerts from an unlikely place
By the time he became a teenager, Bogaerts had begun to overshadow some of the other players on the island. He played on select teams and participated in tournaments in places like St. Thomas, St Croix, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Although he always considered his brother to be better, few on the island shared that opinion. Yet Bogaerts was virtually unknown in the scouting world.

Discovered by an adventuresome pair of scouts, Xander Bogaerts is only the fifth player from Aruba to play in the major leagues. Getty Images

Wisconsin Badgers: Celebrate? Sorry, We’re Studying
The public tends to be less productive at the office during the N.C.A.A. tournament, especially when early-round games are played during business hours. But there is no dip in the players’ productivity when the postseason starts. If anything, the travel and the games conspire to make their workdays more onerous because they cannot afford to fall behind on lectures, midterms, research papers and projects.

Wisconsin’s Aaron Moesch, left, talked with Zach Bohannon, center, about his class assignment during team study hours in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday. Credit Stuart Palley for The New York Times

No. 24 meets 12th Man: Gordon previews A&M-themed car
The Aggie race car was made possible by Texas A&M alum Charlie Shaver, ’80, who is also the chairman and CEO of Axalta Coatings Systems, which sponsors Gordon and the No. 24 Axalta Racing Chevrolet SS. Gordon will race the maroon car for Hendrick Motorsports at Sunday’s Duck Commander 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth as 28 engineering students making up the 12th Man Pit Crew get a behind-the-scenes look at the impact of engineering on the popular sport.

NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon greets fans outside of Rudder Tower on the Texas A&M campus Thursday, April 3, 2014. (Eagle Photo/ Stuart Villanueva)

How A Risky Ad Campaign Turned The Portland Timbers Into One Of Pro Sports’ Hottest Startups
Overnight the billboards became the talk of Portland. “They nicely expressed what the Timbers’ greatest asset was at the time: a fan base that was 100% real,” says Helm. “And that attracted other people who wanted to be part of that sort of passionate soccer environment. So the campaign not only filled seats, it self-selected passionate fans.” The simple, relatively inexpensive strategy, Paulson says, “captured the ethos of Portland” and activated a latent store of passion for a sport that wasn’t yet mainstream.

Psychologist Helps Huskies Forge Lasting Bonds
Kentan Facey, a freshman forward from Jamaica, said the team had joined together to help its international players overcome language barriers. “A brotherhood doesn’t really defer based on ethnicity, or whatever you may call it, nationality,” he said. “As long as you understand that there’s a brotherhood and it’s stronger than anything you encounter in your life, then that’s going to help you overcome anything that comes up.”

The sports psychologist Dr. Joe Carr led Connecticut players through about 30 hours of exercises in 2012 to help foster understanding and camaraderie. He has since continued to check in with the team. Credit Cooper Neill for The New York Times

Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic Transforms the Lives of 400 of America’s Veterans and Active-Duty Service Members
NDVWSC is recognized as the world leader in adaptive winter sports instruction. Participants are exposed to the very latest in adaptive equipment, which is often retrofitted on the spot to fit each individual’s unique needs. Nearly 200 specially trained, certified ski instructors, other rehabilitative specialists and dedicated volunteers assist participants. The clinic offers a range of programs, seminars and activities, including adaptive skiing in sit-skis, mono-skis and bi-skis, scuba diving, rock climbing, wheelchair self-defense, sled hockey and snowmobiling.

Fans stay true to 100-year-old Wrigley Field; Loyalists warily roll with the changes to Cubs’ ballpark
Friday’s home opener will launch the centennial celebration for Wrigley Field, one of only two major league ballparks to reach its 100th birthday. Built as the home of an upstart team in a rogue league, the park has achieved shrine status for Leatham and many others over a period in which people have walked through Wrigley turnstiles an estimated 141 million times.,0,7245903.story?page=1


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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.
Contact InformationSarbjit “Sab” Singh