Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #116

June 15 – June 21, 2014

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

  1. Freddie Steinmark Movie “My All American” Starts Filming This Month in Austin
  2. New mentoring program to target elite female athletes
  3. 4 Friends Just Walked 1,200 Miles To The World Cup For Charity
  4. Eh? 2014 NBA draft: Canada will be well represented, with at least 3 first-rounders
  5. Sports Should Be Child’s Play
  6. Giants Punter Steve Weatherford Crashes Prom, Makes Students’ Dreams Come True
  7. The Netherlands’ Robin van Persie: I am just a kid with one wish … to play football
  8. Love sports? Buy your own team — or part of one
  9. Boys & Girls Clubs of America utilizing NAYS programs to enhance youth sports experiences
  10. Phoenix teenager set to become youngest Le Mans driver

In the midst of all of this activity around the 2014 (Men’s) World Cup, we were intrigued by a story focused on women and leadership. Our second story this week looks at a new partnership between elite female athletes, the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and financial services provider EY. In the United States and in some other parts of the world, we have seen an encouraging spike in the number of girls and women participating in sport. While much work still needs to be done, the impact of this group’s early efforts certainly portends good things in the future.

While participation has picked up, there are numerous areas where female participation is lacking still, including in the sports management classrooms, executive leadership in professional and college sports properties, and in the top positions in national and global governing bodies, e.g. FIFA, IOC. We are excited about the potential of this new partnership involving elite female athletes as it recognizes explicitly the special characteristics of such a group and the potential they have to harness those assets in the world of management and business. Perhaps the success of this program will spread to the other areas of sport where women’s input is sorely needed.

In addition to that story, we are happy to feature: the film, “My All American,” a charity effort tied to the World Cup; the emergence of Canada as a source of basketball talent; the value of diversification when it comes to youth sports; New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford and his efforts to provide students with an opportunity to enjoy one of the special moments of high school, i.e. the prom; Dutch superstar Robin van Persie; and teenager Matt McMurry, who is set to become youngest Le Mans driver ever; amongst others.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Freddie Steinmark Movie “My All American” Starts Filming This Month in Austin
Royal’s legacy is one that Texas fans know well, and while Steinmark is a figure in Longhorn lore, explored in his memoir, I Play to Win and Jim Dent’s Courage Beyond the Game, he is rarely mentioned in the same breath as Brian Piccolo or Rudy Ruettiger. Brigham believes that with this film, Steinmark will become as compelling national figure in his own right. Furthermore, Brigham says, Steinmark’s story won’t require the wide-swath of fictionalization that is often seen in sports movies. “This movie will be a true story; we don’t have to create characters or make anything up,” he says. “There’s so much texture; we can be truly non-fictional.”

New mentoring program to target elite female athletes
“Female athletes have leadership skills that can’t be taught in the classroom,” EY’s global vice-chair of public policy, Beth Brooke-Marciniak, said. “The world needs more women leaders and we believe that elite female athletes are a unique talent pipeline. This new mentoring program is focused on building a bridge between women in the business world and women in sport to help open doors and create new career and leadership opportunities for these extraordinary individuals.”

Donna de Varona, former Olympic champion and lead advisor to EY’s Women Athletes Business Network and its new mentoring program

4 Friends Just Walked 1,200 Miles To The World Cup For Charity
It sounds odd, but for four friends who just walked more than 1,200 miles to the FIFA World Cup, their ultimate goal was never really the soccer tournament itself. The crew of Brits, who departed on foot from Mendoza, Argentina, in early March of this year, aimed to raise more than $30,000 to build a water well in Bahia, a state in the eastern part of Brazil that is in the midst of a severe drought.

Walk to the World Cup | Instagram/ Walk to the World Cup

Eh? 2014 NBA draft: Canada will be well represented, with at least 3 first-rounders
As Nash’s stardom ascended over the past decade, Canadian interest in basketball did likewise, these players say. “I don’t know anybody who plays basketball in Canada who didn’t see Steve Nash as their favorite player,” said Stanford forward Dwight Powell. “He’s an amazing role model and has stayed so loyal to Canada Basketball throughout. He’s done wonders for Canadian basketball.”

NBA draft prospects Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, left, and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, both Canadians, laugh before the NBA basketball draft lottery in New York.

Sports Should Be Child’s Play
In the Loyola study, sport diversification had a protective effect. But in case health risks alone aren’t reason enough for parents to ignore the siren call of specialization, diversification also provides performance benefits. Kids who play multiple “attacking” sports, like basketball or field hockey, transfer learned motor and anticipatory skills — the unconscious ability to read bodies and game situations — to other sports. They take less time to master the sport they ultimately choose.

Liam Barrett

Giants Punter Steve Weatherford Crashes Prom, Makes Students’ Dreams Come True
“You see all these different charities replacing tangible items, but you didn’t hear about anybody replacing life experiences that these kids are going to miss out on due to the hardships that came along with Hurricane Sandy,” Weatherford said. “I wanted to give them something that was going to last and a life experience is going to last them forever.” With the help of local businesses and other sponsors, Weatherford was able to raise enough money to pay for tickets, clothing, makeup and transportation for 20 high school students in the New Jersey area.

The Netherlands’ Robin van Persie: I am just a kid with one wish … to play football
“When his contract ends in Manchester he’ll be 33,” said Bob. “As long as he’s fit enough – and I’m sure he will be – he’ll stay in Manchester. Then he’ll go back to Excelsior. Money will never be an issue. Robin is hyperactive. He was like that as a kid and always will be like that. He needs football to burn his energy and he’ll be like that for the rest of his life. So he’s got to look forwards. I think he’ll probably always be loyal to Excelsior, Arsenal and Manchester United. Those clubs are like home.

Robin van Persie will be Louis van Gaal’s captain at the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Love sports? Buy your own team — or part of one
While few expect to retire on the returns from a sports franchise investment, buying a full or fractional ownership can give fans a way to invest in the sports they love. If you are looking to buy a stake in your favourite team, here’s what you need to know:

Don’t just cheer for your favourite club from the sidelines. Own a piece of the team. (John Peters/Manchester United/Getty Images)

Boys & Girls Clubs of America utilizing NAYS programs to enhance youth sports experiences
“We are excited that Boys & Girls Clubs of America has selected NAYS as the program of choice to train the many volunteers and staff coaching in their youth sports programs,” said John Engh, chief operating officer of NAYS. “As someone who participated in Boys & Girls Clubs programs while growing up, it shows me that they continue to be dedicated to the quality of the youth sports experience.” In 2013, Buffalo Wild Wings donated and raised more than $1.5 million for BGCA through a variety of promotions including donations from its sauce and seasoning bottles sales, as well as numerous in-restaurant promotions and corporate contributions. These efforts helped more than 12,000 kids participate on more than 900 flag and tackle football and cheerleading teams across the country.

Phoenix teenager set to become youngest Le Mans driver
When Matt McMurry was 13 years old, his teachers gave him an assignment — list your long-term goals. He responded with a PowerPoint presentation that included a photo of an Audi R10 with a caption: Become the youngest driver at Le Mans. Three years later, McMurry is about to do exactly that. A 16-year-old junior-to-be at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, McMurry will become the youngest competitor in the storied history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which begins Saturday with the 82nd running of the event in Le Mans, France.

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Contact InformationSarbjit “Sab” Singh