Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2014
Welcome to week one hundred thirty-five of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:
- Magic Bus – A Ball Can Change The World
- How Two Women Saved Football In One Tiny Tennessee County
- Team That Arrived With Little Finds Plenty of Generosity for Its Cup Bid
- Former NBA Star Lays Out Philanthropic Goals for Democratic Republic of Congo
- 2014 Billie Jean King Contribution Award: Tegla Loroupe
- How up-and-coming Jose Ramirez is striving to be more than just a boxer
- NBA and NYRR Team Up for First-ever Relay at the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2
- Microsoft Announces A Three-year, Multimillion Dollar Partnership With The Special Olympics
- Sikhs Cultivate Body and Soul Through Running
- The C-Suite Insider: Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary Pays Workers to Exercise 2.5 Hours a Week
This past week may have been the busiest of the year when it comes to sports events and fandom. In addition to the king of fall sports, (American) football (pro, college, and high school), we saw the final games of baseball’s World Series, the launch of the latest pro basketball and hockey seasons, pending playoffs in Major League Soccer, Midnight Madness at college campuses across the country, and that not-so-small rivalry game in Span, “El Clasico,” involving Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. For some folks, it is overkill. For many others, it is heaven.
We, not surprisingly, are more in the latter camp. And part of the reason is that in addition to the actual games, which by the way are often thrilling, we continually see the “good” out there in sports. This week the stories are domestic and international, deal with professionals and amateurs, involve team and individual sports, and showcase the famous and not-so-famous. So please take a few moments to read about: Magic Bus, Pickett County High School football, Trinidad & Tobago women’s soccer, Dikembe Mutombo, Tegla Loroupe, Jose Ramirez, New York Marathon, Microsoft and the Special Olympics, those of the Sikh faith; and Kevin Cleary.
Finally, we would like to help promote an exciting opportunity for the good folks associated with the documentary film, The Only Real Game, which has been featured at Sports Doing Good.
“Following powerhouse reviews, the humanitarian baseball documentary The Only Real Game will have its qualifying run for Academy Award consideration at the Quad Cinema on 13th Street in Manhattan, November 7th thru 13th — five shows daily. This is the REAL story of baseball in India dating back to WWII and the Manipuri’s passionate devotion to baseball in defiance of martial law. MLB sent coaches over recently to help the baseball players, men & women, in this remote, isolated and war-torn border state in northeast India. Join WISE and NYWIFT at the November 11th 7:30 show. The USO is gathering veterans groups for November 10th. For info & discounted $6 tickets to any screening contact email@example.com. Go to www.onlyrealgamemovie.com for reviews of this stunning film.”
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So enjoy. And have a good week.
Magic Bus – A Ball Can Change the World
This segment opens with a group of young boys and girls from the NGO Magic Bus India Foundation. Gulafsha Khan, Parvati Pujari, Ritu Pawa and Vijay Gupta are children from underprivileged backgrounds whose lives have been transformed thanks to Magic Bus’ innovative approach of using sports and games to teach children essential lessons of life. These children were not exposed to regular schooling and some of them grew up on the streets, where they were at risk. They share their vulnerabilities, the battles they fought at home to be a part of Magic Bus, and the change they have witnessed in their lives and those around them. Aamir Khan is also joined by Matthew Spacie, founder of Magic Bus, whose personal journey is equally inspiring.
How Two Women Saved Football In One Tiny Tennessee County
But Byrdstown itself has caught onto the energy, too, and not just because a woman took the job. When the first homecoming parade in nobody-can-even-remember-how-long snaked its way through the tiny town earlier this month, families came out of their houses to wave, the elementary school let students come outside to watch and businesses all paused their operations. Those hundreds of people weren’t cheering for Garner, but for the whole team riding along on a hay bale-lined trailer. It wasn’t some burst of feminism that Garner had brought to Byrdstown. She had shown Pickett County that its football team was something worth believing in. And she had a key helper behind the scenes.
Much of what Brittney Garner knows about football she’s learned from playing Madden. But that didn’t stop her from stepping up when the football program at Pickett County was on the verge of elimination.
Team That Arrived With Little Finds Plenty of Generosity for Its Cup Bid
Help arrived quickly in terms of donations from a number of benefactors. Trinidad and Tobago’s story illustrates the generosity extended by many in the international soccer community. And, less encouragingly, it demonstrates that the treatment of women’s soccer lags far behind men’s soccer in a vast majority of nations. “When you look at the U.S. women, you see how far we’ve come, and when you look at Trinidad and Tobago’s team, you see how far we have to go,” said Jen Cooper of Houston, who operates the website KeeperNotes.com, which has raised $17,000 in donations for the Soca Princesses.
Trinidad and Tobago, hoping to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, lost to Mexico on Sunday as Veronica Charlyn Corral (9) scored two goals in overtime. Credit Rich Schultz/Associated Press
Former NBA Star Lays Out Philanthropic Goals for Democratic Republic of Congo
The outbreak of Ebola demonstrates the need for better healthcare in West Africa, Mutombo said, citing the lack of doctors and medical facilities in the countries most affected. Today, Mutombo said he has set his sights on building a school on the outskirts of Kinshasa as well as a “welcome house” next to the hospital to accommodate volunteers and doctors. “My motivation has always been to improve the wellbeing of the people of Africa,” said Mutombo, who currently serves as the NBA’s global ambassador. “I believe the Africa of my ancestors will be not be the Africa of my descendents.”
2014 Billie Jean King Contribution Award: Tegla Loroupe
The power of Loroupe’s athletic accomplishments and the impact of her global contributions are only magnified by her heritage as a Kenyan woman, someone who was expected from birth to marry and bear children, not become a world-known ambassador for sport and peace. And as African children, both boys and girls, both runners and not, grow up in a more peaceful, educated society, they can thank Loroupe for her vision, influence and contributions.
http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/en/home/programs/awards/2014-billie-jean-king-contribution-awardHow up-and-coming Jose Ramirez is striving to be more than just a boxer
And so when Ramirez, now 22, knocked out junior welterweight David Rodela in the first round before a sellout crowd Saturday of roughly 10,000 at Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif., he not only fought for himself but for all those in the Central Valley who work in the fields and whose lives have been devastated by the crippling drought that has affected the region. The card was dubbed “The Fight for Water 3,” and many of Central California’s political leaders attended. There was a rally for water rights early in the afternoon in the arena parking lot, and the fight card was designed to help bring attention to the issues caused by the drought. There was also a rally for Proposition 1, a water bond that would authorize more than $7 billion in bonds to help the region.
Jose Ramirez, right, connects against Corey Siegwarth during a December 2012 bout. (Getty)
NBA and NYRR Team Up for First-ever Relay at the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2
“Inspiring young people to enjoy fun, fitness-related activities is a goal shared by the NBA and New York Road Runners,” said Silver. “And hosting NBA All-Star in New York City this season gives us an unprecedented opportunity to partner with Mary and NYRR to bring that message directly to all five boroughs. I look forward to participating in the marathon relay and working with NYRR to promote healthy living for all New Yorkers.” “We are thrilled to partner with the NBA on our first-ever marathon day relay,” said Wittenberg. “As the centerpiece of NYRR’s efforts is to get people moving, the TCS New York City Marathon inspires people of all ages to Run for Life.
Microsoft Announces A Three-year, Multimillion Dollar Partnership With The Special Olympics
“Our company is about reinventing productivity, to allow people to achieve more,” says Jeff Hansen, general manager of Microsoft Brand Studio. “If you think about the Special Olympics and their mission to celebrate the achievements of people with intellectual disabilities, you understand that we couldn’t be more aligned. The Special Olympics’ goal of creating a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people is something we believe in here at Microsoft,” adds Lisa Brummel Microsoft’s executive vice president of Human Resources. “I am thrilled about our partnership with the Special Olympics over the next few years and our opportunity to contribute both technology and financial support to help them run their organization.”
Sikhs Cultivate Body and Soul Through Running
Running and Sikhism, it seems, are a natural fit. At the heart of the religion, which stems from the Punjab region of northern India and Pakistan, is the idea of sant-sipahi (“warrior-saint”), a person who strikes a balance in life in which the soul is cultivated and the body is kept strong. “Sports and fitness are a centerpiece of our tradition,” says Simran Jeet Singh, 30, a doctoral student in Columbia University’s department of religion, who will be running his third NYC Marathon. “Sikhism also puts great emphasis on community service and philanthropy. Fund-raising is a part of the running culture, so our values align very nicely.”
NYC Marathoners Simran Jeet Singh (left) and Avtar Singh Tinna (right) in Manhattan. All Sikh men use Singh as a middle name or surname.
The C-Suite Insider: Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary Pays Workers to Exercise 2.5 Hours a Week
Health buffs and athletes know Clif Bar and Company for its organic energy bars. They may not know that the company pays its employees to work out, an initiative led by super-active CEO Kevin Cleary. As part of ABC News’ “C-Suite Insider” series, Cleary gave the lowdown on his personal habits and what makes him and Clif Bar tick. Based in Emeryville, California, and founded in 1992, the company was named after founder Gary Erickson’s father, Clifford. Cleary explained how he maintains an active schedule with three young sons. It helps that employees at the privately-held company are paid two and half hours each week of work time to exercise.