June 29 – July 5, 2014
Welcome to week one hundred eighteen of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:
- How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard persevered and made World Cup history
- American Fútbol: Blind Soccer in Bogotá
- Tina Charles: Changing the world, one AED at a time
- In Basketball Country, Soccer is Gaining Traction with Homeless and Low-Income Kids
- Former NFL Players Close Out Kids & Pros Camp EQUIP Week
- Helmet sensors become mandatory equipment in Arena Football League
- Isaiah Austin wins the night at the NBA Draft and starts a new life
- Glasgow 2014 teams with Unicef in Commonwealth Games first
- Georgetown Men’s Basketball Helps Starlight Children’s Foundation Grant Wish
- New AJC Peachtree director sets new vision for race, track club
What a great couple of weeks we had there with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Of course, the World Cup continues on and there are sure to be some more terrific games but for the U.S. team and its fans, the tournament had its finish this week. Thousands in Brazil and millions back in the U.S. got to learn about the players on the team, their dynamic coach, and the thrill of through-balls, corner kicks, and yes, the occasional goal.
One of the stars of the U.S. team was goalie Tim Howard. A veteran of World Cups and soccer played at the highest levels, Howard’s story of perseverance over personal obstacles has been covered before but certainly is worth retelling in light of his amazing performance at the World Cup. Our first story highlights Tim’s background and his incredible will to succeed.
In addition to the first story about Tim, we are proud to feature: blind soccer players in Bogota; WNBA star Tina Charles; young soccer players emerging in a basketball world; advanced technology that will hopefully protect football players; college basketball star Isaiah Austin; the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Unicef; Georgetown men’s basketball and the Starlight Foundation; and creative efforts to elevate the world’s biggest 10K race; amongst other stories.
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How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard persevered and made World Cup history
Howard, who on Tuesday solidified his position as the greatest goalkeeper in national history, has Tourette’s syndrome. Though the United States lost its game against Belgium 2-1, the ending tally would have been much, much worse if not for Howard. He had 16 saves, three more than the previous World Cup record of 13. “Between now and four years ago, I’ve played a couple hundred games for my club and country,” Howard said after the game. “Just more experienced. I don’t really get too high or too low. I think when you have a big tournament, that’s the important thing, managing emotion.”
Tim Howard’s saves during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Belgium and the USA. (1.EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO 2. Themba Hadebe/AP 3. ALI HAIDER/EPA 4.Ruben Sprich/Reuters)
American Fútbol: Blind Soccer in Bogotá
On our third stop en route to the World Cup, Pete and Sam join a blind soccer team in Bogotá, Colombia. See how their view of the Beautiful Game changes from behind a blindfold. Keep up with Pete, Petar, Sam & Austin’s journey to Brazil at http://www.americanfutbolmovie.com.
Tina Charles: Changing the world, one AED at a time
Stirred into action, Charles had made a donation of $14,775 to the Wes Leonard Heart Foundation. And after her aunt died, Charles found herself connecting the dots between their stories: Leonard had died of an enlarged heart, and Hopey had possessed a generous heart. So Charles launched her own foundation in an effort to ensure that someday every gym in America will be outfitted with the necessary medical equipment to help someone, athlete or fan, who suffers from sudden cardiac arrest.
The aim of Hopey’s Heart Foundation is to save lives. That includes instruction for youth in how to perform CPR.
In Basketball Country, Soccer is Gaining Traction with Homeless and Low-Income Kids
The founder and president of Street Soccer USA, Lawrence Cann, said that soccer isn’t a panacea for all the neighborhood’s problems. But he’s playing the long game. “We don’t come in and roll a soccer ball on day one. We come out, eat lunch with people, spend two months just getting to know people, becoming part of the community, before we ever roll a soccer ball out there,” he said. “We can literally grow up with these folks and be a constant presence in their lives from age 6 to the time they graduate and go to college or into the work force.”
The coaches participate in a short scrimmage at the end of the 45-minute practice. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)
Former NFL Players Close Out Kids & Pros Camp EQUIP Week
Over 400 Inner City Kids participated in Kids & Pros Camp Equip last week at Grady High School. The 2014 Kids & Pros Camp EQUIP, a camp for inner city youth ages 7-13 from Atlanta area Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and other local youth organizations, was created by former Atlanta Falcons, Buddy Curry and Bobby Butler, in conjunction with the Kids & Pros 501c3 Organization. The free Youth Football and Basketball camps conducted, June 16th – 19th from 10AM – 3PM, concluded on Thursday, June 19th with a super bowl game between the campers, an awards ceremony, and a festival from noon – 1pm to promote healthy and positive lifestyle options to campers and their parents.
Helmet sensors become mandatory equipment in Arena Football League
Brain Sentry, founded in part by former Washington Redskins defensive end Charles Mann, will have small sensors positioned on the base of the helmets for both teams. If the helmet receives an impact that exceeds a pre-set limit, a red light will flash to tell officials the player must leave the game to be evaluated. Sensors will be able to measure the angle and severity of a hit, as well as recording all information like an airplane’s black box. The sensors also have different levels of tolerances based on the angle of an impact.
Sharks quarterback R.J. Archer wears a helmet sensor, above the Riddell logo, on his helmet during practice on Wednesday. Don.Coble@kacksonville.com
Isaiah Austin wins the night at the NBA Draft and starts a new life
“We knew we wanted to do something that would allow his dream to come true. He’s a special young man,” Silver told CBSSports.com. “And it was very difficult for me to maintain my composure up there. It’s sad that something that was such a big part of his life has been taken away, but he’s making the best of a bad situation. That’s the best kind of outlook on life. We’re proud of Isaiah.”
Isaiah Austin was moved to tears by the gesture the NBA gave him Thursday. (USATSI)
Glasgow 2014 teams with Unicef in Commonwealth Games first
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: “This is a ground-breaking and profoundly important opportunity for the people of the Commonwealth to come together to put their children first and improve lives. Glasgow 2014 has had so many firsts in terms of Games and again we are making history, we are changing the conversation. We are taking an opening ceremony and elevating it into something which will not just be experienced by people but will leave a lasting legacy for the young people of Scotland and across the Commonwealth.”
Georgetown Men’s Basketball Helps Starlight Children’s Foundation Grant Wish
On Friday morning, Georgetown University Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Thompson III along with past and present members of the team helped the Starlight Children’s Foundation (www.starlight.org) make a dream come true for Mohini Samani, a 15-year old London, England native…”Having the opportunity to meet Mohini was a special experience for all of us,” Thompson said. “The way she carries herself with all that she has gone through and continues to go through is inspiring and it probably means just as much for our guys to spend time with her and her family, as it does for her to spend time with all of us.”
On Friday morning, Georgetown University Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Thompson III along with past and present members of the team helped the Starlight Children’s Foundation (www.starlight.org) make a dream come true for Mohini Samani, a 15-year old London, England native.
New AJC Peachtree director sets new vision for race, track club
A new twist to this year’s The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race is more than a clever fundraiser. It is insight into the future of the race and the Atlanta Track Club under the leadership of its first-year executive director. Marathoner Meb Keflezighi, who in April became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, will start the 10-kilometer race dead last in the 60,000-runner field on Independence Day. Based on the numbers of runners he can pass, he’ll raise money for the track club’s youth running program, Kilometer Kids.
Elite runners line Peachtree Road during the 44th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, July 4, 2013. Jason Getz / AJC