Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #112

May 18 – May 24, 2014

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

  1. 20 Amazing Plays from Sports You’ve Never Seen Before
  2. Soccer as Spectacle in the Pacific Northwest
  3. Classy Seahawks sign draft pick before having to cut him due to heart condition
  4. High school wins state track and field title with no track at school
  5. Street Football Stadiums in Rio de Janeiro
  6. Top names from US and global sport ready to go ‘Beyond Soccer’ at Yankee Stadium
  7. NHL’s Teemu Selanne: ‘It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years’
  8. First-ever Kids’ Choice Sports Awards nominees announced
  9. President Obama touts tourism at National Baseball Hall of Fame
  10. Learning by Heart: Soccer as Unifier at Oakland International High School

I am sure most of us have sat through meetings, maybe even conferences, where we question the purpose behind the event and hope for nothing more than to have it end quickly. I found myself this past Thursday and Friday at an event that was the complete OPPOSITE of that scenario.

I had the great fortune of spending two days surrounded by a wealth of positive energy, keen intelligence, and wonderful camaraderie. The event, the World Sports Values Summit for Peace and Development, took place at the United Nations in New York City.  It was hosted by the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and sponsored by World Faiths Development Dialogue, Worldwide Support for Development and International Sports Promotion Society (led by Dr. Haruhisa Handa).

The Summit involved a series of panels, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. The attendees were a mix of those young and old, male and female, U.S. and international, practitioners and policy makers, and academics and students. It was impossible not to be inspired by the ideas being shared and the plans being developed to help leverage sport to spread the ideals of peace and development (personal, social, economic) around the world. I was especially taken by the Summit’s commitment to not just include “young leaders,” but instead to have them serve as prominent contributors throughout the proceedings. These twenty-something’s more than ably handled their roles and had seasoned experts applauding their efforts.

I walked away from the two-day event encouraged, motivated, inspired, and happy. There should be no doubting the sincerity of those working to better themselves and the world around them, the types of folks we regularly feature at Sports Doing Good and we met this week in New York. So kudos to all of those involved in the 2014 World Sports Values Summit for Peace and Development. We see great things continuing to come from your work.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

20 Amazing Plays from Sports You’ve Never Seen Before
The following compilation of videos is a collection of some of the most extraordinary plays from the most bizarre sports—plays you can’t believe you’ve never seen from sports you didn’t realize even existed. Buckle in and prepare for 20 examples of human athletic accomplishment in its finest and rarest form.

Soccer as Spectacle in the Pacific Northwest
Except in the Pacific Northwest, where Major League Soccer is a stadium-filling, culture-defining, loud, passionate phenomenon, with throngs of chanting supporters spilling out of the bars and restaurants into the streets around the downtown stadiums in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland, thousands of shouting, singing, marching partisans, waving their banners and scarves. Some of them aren’t even drunk.

(photo, MLS Soccer)  Caption: Fans of the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps show support for their squads. Credit Jan Sonnenmair for The New York Times; Leah Nash for The New York Times; Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Classy Seahawks sign draft pick before having to cut him due to heart condition
Scott went from the life highlight of being drafted into the NFL to the low of having it taken away in less than a month. He played 41 games at Marshall. Presumably his heart condition wasn’t noticed during any physical tests during the pre-draft process either. Then he was told that the team that selected him didn’t think his heart would let him play football again. There’s a silver lining. The Seahawks found out about Scott’s condition before signing him but the team signed him to his contract anyway, then waived him. That means Scott receives his signing bonus and first-year salary totaling about $555,000, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

High school wins state track and field title with no track at school
It’s a story you typically see in a movie… Imagine playing a sport, but you don’t have the resources to practice, and still, your team goes on to be state champions. Well that’s exactly happened to a high school track and field team in Pageland, South Carolina. Busted hurdles and one starting block known as “Old Rusty”, that’s what the Central High School track and field team had to use this season, but it didn’t stop them from becoming state champions.

Street Football Stadiums in Rio de Janeiro
On the occasion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, streetfootballworld and Sony will be jointly launching the Street Football Stadium Project as part of their official partnership during the event. Beginning in June, the project will provide community football organisations with more than 14 small, portable football pitches, where they can run their educational football programmes for young people.

Top names from US and global sport ready to go ‘Beyond Soccer’ at Yankee Stadium
Some of the biggest names in global soccer will come together at one of the world’s most iconic sporting venues on June 10 to discuss the unique potential of ‘the beautiful game’ to create positive social change in the USA. Beyond Soccer – powered by streetfootballworld – is a one-day event that brings together top leagues, teams, brands, social development organizations and the media to look at how the game can create shared value for sponsors and investors and how a new breed of American sports fan is creating a greater need for socially responsible investment by sports business.

Delegates at Beyond Soccer 2013

NHL’s Teemu Selanne: ‘It has been a pleasure to be around for so many years’
It was an emotional end for Teemu Selanne on Friday. The Anaheim Ducks lost to the L.A. Kings in Game 7 of their second-round series, and it’s Selanne’s intention to retire from his playing career. He’s 43 years old and has had a Hall-of-Fame career on the ice, with 684 goals and 1,457 points in 1,451 regular season games. More importantly, he’s gained the respect of so many people around the hockey world. Members of the Kings shook Selanne’s hand and embraced him at the end of Friday’s game, then lined up at their blue line, tapping their sticks in salute him. It was a classy moment for a classy individual.

First-ever Kids’ Choice Sports Awards nominees announced
Nickelodeon has revealed the nominees and categories for its inaugural Kids’ Choice Sports 2014 live awards show where kids in the US vote for their favorite athletes across 15 kid-focused categories including “Sickest Moves” and “King and Queen of Swag.” Beginning June 12, kids can cast their votes at before the event’s live telecast which will be hosted and executive produced by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan on Thursday, July 17 (8 p.m. ET/PT) from UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

President Obama touts tourism at National Baseball Hall of Fame
The president said baseball “describes our history in so many ways” and is symbolic of “all the obstacles that we’ve overcome.” “This hall has memories of two world wars that we fought and won,” Obama said. “It has memories of color barriers being broken; Jackie Robinson’s uniform, the record of his first season as a Dodger. It shows us the history of communities that we built across a new continent and the ways that we connected with our country and our world, and how women athletes started getting the recognition that they deserved.”

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, left, and 2010 inductee Andre Dawson, holds Babe Ruth’s bat during a tour the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Thursday. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

Learning by Heart: Soccer as Unifier at Oakland International High School
Early in the school’s history, a partnership with the nonprofit Soccer Without Borders sprang from the teaching of soccer in physical education class. Led by Ben Gucciardi, it grew like wildfire; roughly a third of all students here now take part, playing on various teams that compete in Oakland and its surrounds. However, the program goes far beyond athletic competition. It encompasses youth development and leadership as well as academic monitoring, intervention, and support. “My soccer program, they always support me, everywhere,” said Ravis, a student from Democratic Republic of the Congo.


14 Things Being a Female Rugby Player Taught Me
Three years ago, after a 14-year soccer career, I switched my focus to college rugby for numerous reasons — I could be more physical, it was a club sport, it was less time-consuming, etc. Switching sports was the best decision I could have made, as I cannot imagine my life without rugby. Sure, I loved soccer, but I was never passionate about it. It was just something I had always done.

Nadine Swart via Getty Images

PlaySight Lands $3.5m Investment To Fund Worldwide Distribution of Game-Changing Sports Technology
“We are very proud to have such a powerful group of investors who share our vision of bringing elite player technology to the grassroots and club level,” said Chen Shachar, PlaySight CEO. “When we developed this technology we saw an opportunity to create an affordable, easy-to-install, cloud-based system for athletes of all levels to improve their game. In the same way that wearable tech devices and micro-cameras are transforming running and extreme sports, we are certain that SmartCourts will make tennis more engaging and fun.

Ryan, Krissie Newman give animals refuge at Rescue Ranch
Since Rescue Ranch opened in October, the family has grown by the dozens. Goats, rabbits, birds, exotic reptiles and a cow roam the 177-acre property, all of them unwanted by their previous owners. Rescue Ranch isn’t just an animal shelter with a fancy name. It’s an education center where local children can come for day camps or school field trips to play with the animals and learn how much goes into taking care of one.

Sam Sharpe, USA TODAY Sports

WNBA becomes first league to market itself to LGBT community
The effort, which begins with the launch of a website Wednesday, includes having teams participate in local pride festivals and parades, working with advocacy groups to raise awareness of inclusion through grassroots events, and advertising with lesbian media. A nationally televised pride game will take place between Tulsa and Chicago on Sunday, June 22. All 12 teams will also have some sort of pride initiative over the course of the season.

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

2014 FIFA World Cup International Posters
ESPN also released the full series of 33 international posters for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The images were designed exclusively for ESPN by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Cristiano Siqueira. And created in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York.

How Adam Dunn is working to be a Magic Johnson-level entrepreneur
Whether it’s with teammates who seek his business advice (the retiring Paul Konerko and All-Star Chris Sale, among others) or CEOs he meets, Dunn plays the role well, vacillating between ballplayer talk and balance sheets. Ideally, Dunn wants to be the next Magic Johnson, a world-class athlete who parlayed his name into businesses that have sent his net worth toward a reported $500 million. Dunn remembers playing for the Class A Dayton (Ohio) Dragons in 2000, the year Johnson partnered with Mandalay Sports to launch the franchise. Less than two weeks ago, the Dragons sold out their 1,000th consecutive game, the longest such streak in American sports history.

Adam Dunn, right, is still getting it done for the White Sox, but he’s already thinking about life after baseball. (Getty)

Amid the cheers and the roars, NASCAR is busy giving back
Wednesday night’s Speedway Children’s Charities event in Charlotte’s uptown is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year. With money raised from the gala and other events, the charity, founded by Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith more than three decades ago, has given tens of millions of dollars to organizations in need. “We look for organizations that might not otherwise get help,” said Lisa Starnes, executive director of Speedway Children’s Charities. “That’s our mission – to give back.”

While visiting National Guard troops laugh, Kings Mountain Middle School teacher David McDonald, left, bends over in disbelief after finding NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne, right, in his classroom Monday. STEVE LYTTLE

Djokovic Donates Rome Prize Money To Help Flood Relief Efforts
Novak Djokovic has donated his entire prize money for winning the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title in Rome to his foundation to help the flood relief efforts in Serbia. Heavy rainfall in Bosnia and Serbia from 14-16 May has affected more than 1.6 million people, with at least 48 people dying as a result of the flooding.

Novak Djokovic has donated his entire Rome prize money in support of the Balkans flooding. © Getty Images

Mifalot and Futkal partnership in the Philippines: Coping with trauma through football
The storm caused heavy destruction and left two million homeless with no electricity, telecommunications or food. Thanks to the streetfootballworld network, Mifalot was able to join the “Field of Hope” mission and partner with Futkal & Friends in producing a unique seminar for dealing with post- traumatic stress syndrome through football. They met with over 50 coaches and physical education teachers in Cebu and Bantayan Island.

RIP: Don Meyer, basketball coaching legend, has died
“With the passing of Don, our great game has lost one of its superstars,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He was a truly amazing coach and teacher. Don shared his knowledge with coaches for decades and helped the game become better at every level. His players benefited from his teachings both on and off the court. His goal was for them to be successful as players and as men. He always accomplished his goal. I have always considered it my honor to be his friend.”

Lipscomb coach Don Meyer. Credit: Lipscomb University(Photo: Submitted)

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