Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #134

Oct. 19 – Oct. 25, 2014

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

  1. Nation to Nation: Crossover India is helping to spread hoops worldwide.
  2. Ex-NFLer Donovin Darius mentors players both on and off the field
  3. NBA Cares Week 2014 – Bigger than basketball
  4. From Kansas to Giants, a Pioneer’s Trail of Wins and Wit
  5. NBA’s Chris Paul: My Brother’s Keeper
  6. MLB shines light on worthy causes at Fall Classic
  7. How Sports Can Help Your Kids Outsmart Everyone Else
  8. Dream Come True: Grandmother Watches Grandson Play For U.S. Paralympic Team
  9. Samsung extends partnership with International Paralympic Committee (IPC) through to Tokyo 2020
  10. Three dimensions of sport for health

One of the things that is so great about the stories we get to feature each week is the fact that each and every story deals with more than 1 person. Sure, we have had stories of individuals overcoming great odds to achieve their goals. Without fail, however, we see that the individual has been supported, guided, or inspired by one or more individuals and/or groups. Their presence often has brought with it attention key to the ultimate success of these great efforts. Just as it “takes a village” to raise a child, it “takes a team” to help that child achieve his/her goals.

Such teamwork was on full display this week in the stories we feature, including: NGO Crossover India and its outreach to boys and girls in India; ex NFL player Donovin Darius and his commitment to assist young players navigate the very tricky terrain of professional sports and adulthood; the NBA’s incredible effort to introduce its upcoming season through the literally hundreds of positive actions undertaken by players, alumni, staff, and team/league executives; one of those players, All-Star Chris Paul, reminding himself and others the importance of ongoing mentorship to people of all ages; pioneering baseball player Luther Taylor and his influence on his teammates and the game of baseball; MLB’s leveraging of its biggest event, the World Series, to highlight some of the wonderful programs they support; a grandmother who got a helping hand from some friends to be able to travel to see her grandson perform for the U.S. Paralympic team; and Samsung making another commitment to be a source of great support for the athletes and everyone else associated with the Paralympic effort.

Finally, we want to make sure that we highlighted one of the best events on the sports business calendar, and that is the Ivy Sports Symposium. Now in its 9th year, the event will be taking place in Princeton, NJ on Friday, November 14th. You can learn more and register by clicking on the following link.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Nation to Nation: Crossover India is helping to spread hoops worldwide.
With family hailing from the Chennai area, Jayachandran has seen firsthand the level of depravity that exists in certain corners of the country and knows that education and confidence will help Indian youth get out of a seeming never-ending cycle. “In the entire world, one in five children are actually in India. With that large of a number, many of the children end up becoming part of the poor and marginalized which leads to them often being left behind. In India, graduation rates hover around 10 percent! Using basketball as a vehicle of change, Crossover participants learn leadership, communication, teamwork and character skills which give them the necessary tools to become future leaders.”

Ex-NFLer Donovin Darius mentors players both on and off the field
That focus on communication is central to his involvement with TAP – the NFL’s Transition Assistance Program, which started in 2010. As a Transition Coach he helps guide and support players who are moving on from their playing careers. The adjustment can be stressful and trying, not only for the player, but for his family members. The program was created to offer direction and guidance to former players. And now there is a group of former players who themselves have been officially certified in mentoring and counseling, including Darius. Always introspective, Darius tries to convey things he has learned not just from his training, but from his own personal journey too. “To be able to know yourself first is important,” he said. “And then a new understanding of yourself and people around you.”

NBA Cares Week 2014 – Bigger than basketball
As part of NBA Cares Week (Oct. 19 – 26), the NBA and its teams and players are participating in events and activities across the country to support the communities in which we live, work and play. NBA Cares Week events are being led by players, legends, coaches, and executives in an effort to give back to the community in the areas of education, health and wellness and hands-on service. Through NBA Cares, the league and its teams and players have donated more than $242 million to charity, completed more than 3 million hours of community service, and created more than 915 places where kids and families can live, learn or play.

Pacers TV announcer Jeremiah Johnson and Boomer stop to pose for a photo while delivering food to hungry during a Feed the Children event in Cincinnati.

From Kansas to Giants, a Pioneer’s Trail of Wins and Wit
Taylor was a pioneering pitcher, a colorful and charismatic character who could neither hear nor speak but who could throw a baseball with expertise. He helped the Giants win their first World Series of the modern baseball era, in 1905, and bridged a gap between hearing and nonhearing athletes, and he remains a unique link between Kansas City and the Giants. During Taylor’s time with the Giants, from 1900 to 1908, many of his teammates learned to sign, and Taylor kept them laughing — and sometimes winning — for much of his career.

Luther Taylor was 16-9 in 1905, when he helped pitch the Giants into the World Series. Credit Deaf Cultural Center

NBA’s Chris Paul: My Brother’s Keeper
I am proud to be a member of the NBA and as president of the National Basketball Players Association I get to see the kind of impact players in the NBA can have on their communities and on young people. That is why are working together to support President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and helping to recruit 25,000 new mentors over the next five years. We want mentors who are passionate and understand the opportunity they are being given to change and motivate young men. I continue to monitor myself as I know that young men are looking at what I am doing. I want to be my very best to make certain that my activities off the court and through my foundation, ensure that young men see the entire package.

MLB shines light on worthy causes at Fall Classic
The World Series is Major League Baseball’s bully pulpit, and the league intends to use it. So with a worldwide stage available, baseball will again shine a light on a series of causes…”Major League Baseball is proud to utilize the global platform of the World Series to highlight causes that are important to so many of our fans and our culture as a whole,” Selig said. “Baseball is a social institution with significant social responsibilities, and it is a privilege to draw attention to organizations that work tirelessly to address these challenges.”

Military members honored. Robert A. McDonald, Admiral James A. Winnefeld and Staff Sgt. Pedro Sotelo are honored with a ceremony prior to Game 1

How Sports Can Help Your Kids Outsmart Everyone Else
However, we would contend that there’s one context, popular among kids (increasingly of both genders), that is tailor-made for introducing basic concepts of economics and math, and a lot less boring: sports. Just as a game is packed with fractions, probability, equations and even multi-variable calculus if you’re so inclined, so too is it a laboratory for risk assessment, principles of finance and behavioral economics—an emerging field that looks at the effects of psychology and emotion on economic decision-making.

Alex Goodlett—Getty Images

Dream Come True: Grandmother Watches Grandson Play For U.S. Paralympic Team
Five years later, little has changed: Gloria Vaughan just wants to watch her grandson play soccer. It’s a bigger challenge than it seems. Since Hensley’s tournaments often take him overseas, his 74-year-old grandmother is forced to make do with inconsistent Internet feeds, and sometimes just by following the matches on Twitter. Vaughan doesn’t complain, though, because she knows what a gift it is that Hensley is able to play soccer at all. Those dreams were in serious doubt eight years ago, when a freak accident during a soccer match caused a stroke that weakened the right side of Hensley’s body.

Samsung extends partnership with International Paralympic Committee (IPC) through to Tokyo 2020
The new deal will see Samsung and the IPC continue the Samsung Paralympic Blogger programme, where athletes have the chance to connect directly with fans via social media. The pair will also continue in their aim to change people’s perception of Paralympic athletes where they hope to ensure people view them as athletes with the same shared passion for sport. This campaign has been pushed by the “Sport Doesn’t Care” video which was updated for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games following its success during London 2012.

Three dimensions of sport for health
Sport & Development does not have to be limited to a capacity that just gets local kids playing more sport for a few weeks. The following provides a brief outline on what shape sport and health programmes can take and the range of health concerns that can be addressed, from weight loss and nutrition to HIV prevention and psychological therapy…Links between sport and health have been well established since the 1950s. Research has continued to prove sport’s benefits on our health, both physically and mentally. For many, physical exercise has become synonymous with health; however, a look at the different ways sport can be employed to benefit health helps us appreciate its true potential.

Chinteche Camp 2006, Malawi (Photo shared by Edgework Consulting- advisor on S&D for traumatised youth)

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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 forward 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.
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