Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #176

Aug. 9 – Aug. 15, 2015

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

  1. Wrestling for the Next UFC Star
  2. She May Be Small, but Kaci Lickteig (the Pixie Ninja) Is a Giant in Ultrarunning
  3. Big brands go blue for mass cricket charity day
  4. Beyond Sport Awards 2015 – Shortlist Announced
  5. #pass4prostate Challenge Raises Prostate Cancer Awareness and Research Funds
  6. By being frugal financially, Ryan Broyles believes he has set up future
  7. Ravens QB Joe Flacco gets Special Olympics medal from fan
  8. NFL gives $2.5M to UW Medicine for new Sports Health and Safety Institute
  9. LeBron James and U of Akron to give 4-year scholarships to qualifying students
  10. From “No Girls Allowed” to Playing at the Garden

The idea of “pay it forward” is one that is pretty much understood by most people at this point. To help others after being the beneficiary of someone else’s help or largesse makes sense to us. If you have more than you need, maybe you give some of it away. Or you create something that will make it at least a little bit easier for someone to achieve their goals or dreams as well. There is no shortage of this type of generosity in sports. Players across all sports have given their time and/or money to help young people especially navigate the not-so-easy to situations that make up the early part of our lives. This week one of the stories we highlight includes one of the world’s most famous athletes, LeBron James.

In addition to the story highlighting LeBron’s partnership with the University of Akron to make college possible for students who maybe otherwise would not be able to afford to go, we also have a story of USA Wrestling and the UFC working together to not only find the next group of elite fighters but to educate the public about the value of the respective sport and their potential for positive impact. There is also the story of the WNBA’s New York Liberty reaching out to a youth basketball team who was denied the opportunity to play in the final rounds of a national basketball tournament because it had a young girl on the team. The Liberty stepped up and invited the team to not only take in a game, but to play one as well in the “World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Other great stories that we feature this week include: ultramarathoner Kaci Lickteig; a day of fun and generosity in the world of cricket; the announcement of the amazing organizations short-listed for this year’s Beyond Sport Awards; USA Rugby and its counterpart from Australia partnering up to raise awareness and funds for combating prostate cancer; NFL player Ryan Broyles who attracted a lot of attention for his measured approach to spending the money he is earning as a professional athlete; a gift NFL quarterback Joe Flacco received from one of his fans and fellow championship athlete; and the NFL’s ongoing effort to support medical experts who are trying to help all of us understand the risks associated with sport and ways to address them as well so kids can continue to play them in a safer environment.

Finally, we want to announce that our friends at Hoops 4 Hope (H4H) will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary Summer Benefit on Sunday, August 23rd in East Hampton, NY.
A little about H4H: “Since 1995, Hoops 4 Hope has been dedicated to educating and empowering youth through sports, by creating sustainable grassroots solutions with a long-term social impact. H4H provides deserving girls and boys with the tools needed to play in safe environments, while delivering valuable educational, athletic and employment opportunities. Hoops 4 Hope currently reaches over 10,000 kids every year in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Through partnerships with 150 schools and shelters, we create desperately needed positive outlets for the youth of these under-served communities. H4H works tirelessly to give some of the most at-risk kids access to organized teams and trained role models. Although our children face poverty, rampant alcoholism, a HIV epidemic, and high crime rates every day, we provide a healthy way to stay active and resilient. Through the support of individuals, businesses, a dedicated local staff and volunteers, H4H has been able to sustain programs for the last two decades. But we still need your help and now there is even more reason to champion our cause.”

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood, and you can find us at

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Wrestling for the Next UFC Star
Now, as wrestling enters the cycle for Rio and brings its World Championships to the MECCA of MMA, Las Vegas this summer, the two are working together more closely than ever. This week the UFC and USA Wrestling announced an even deeper partnership to help raise awareness, attendance and media attention as the best wrestlers go to Sin City, while USA Wrestling uses its grassroots growth to help bolster those in The Octagon with wrestling ties. A business win-win for both groups who are looking to engage, and in many ways, find new stars. USA Wrestling, the national governing body for wrestling in the United States, and UFC® have jointly announced that they have renewed their partnership to promote interest in wrestling and mixed martial arts (MMA), while working together on a variety of projects to support each organization’s activities. Working together, USA Wrestling and UFC will continue to support and promote the development of wrestling. By leveraging UFC’s industry leading expertise and resources, USA Wrestling and its activities will be featured across several areas such as UFC’s broadcasts, social and digital media. USA Wrestling will provide its 250,000 member community with exclusive opportunities to experience UFC through a range of platforms including: UFC events, UFC Fight Club®, UFC GYM® locations, UFC FIGHT PASS®, UFC Rewards and International Fight Week. USA Wrestling will also use its many media platforms to share information and opportunities about UFC to its members.

She May Be Small, but Kaci Lickteig (the Pixie Ninja) Is a Giant in Ultrarunning
Still, she savors every race, every training session, every chance to run. She is not motivated by money or fame. The sport provides little of either. But her drive is boundless. She wears a GPS watch and charts her mileage on, a website that makes all her workouts public. She regularly logs 110 to 120 miles a week. “A lot of people want to know: What are these people doing to prepare for these races?” Lickteig said. “I’ve got nothing to hide. It’s just running. If you can train the way I train, more power to you.” Koop, who coaches Lickteig remotely from Colorado, said her slight build probably worked as a biomechanical advantage. Rather than trudge across trails for endless miles, Lickteig almost floats, her stride light and loping. She avoids a lot of unnecessary wear and tear, he said.

In June, Lickteig placed second at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. She high-fived spectators as she approached the finish line. Credit Allen Lucas

Big brands go blue for mass cricket charity day
As England and Australia battle it out on the pitch for one of sport’s most coveted trophies, a host of England Cricket and Test Match Ground Partners have agreed to change their advertising perimeter boards to light blue to help the charities raise awareness by turning the ground into a ‘sea of blue’ for the day. England team sponsor, Waitrose, has agreed to change their logo from green to blue on the players’ Test match shirts on 22 August. Both the England and Australian cricket teams will bear the Cricket United logo on their shirt collars for the day to show their support. Waitrose is also providing cricket fans with blue Cricket United T-shirts, for a voluntary donation, to help raise funds. Investec, England’s title sponsor of Test match cricket, will turn the cricket stumps and bails blue on the day for the first time in England’s Test match history.

Beyond Sport Awards 2015 – Shortlist Announced
Taking place in London from Monday 19th October to Wednesday 21st October, the seventh annual Beyond Sport Summit will bring together the world of sport, business, government and community development with a powerful and timely theme: Beyond the Divide, which addresses how sport can be used to reduce ignorance, discrimination and exclusion. The Beyond Sport Awards promote, support and reward the best projects across the globe that are using sport for positive social change. Since 2009, Beyond Sport has awarded over $4million worth of business support and funding has been made available to over 150 winning projects for their innovations and impact through sport. The shortlisted entries from each category receive a bespoke business support package with opportunities for business mentoring and become members of an influential group of social entrepreneurs in the sporting and financial sphere.

#pass4prostate Challenge Raises Prostate Cancer Awareness and Research Funds
Seeking to support men and their loved ones facing the challenges that come with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, USA Rugby, the Australian Rugby Union and Astellas Pharma have partnered to launch the #pass4prostate challenge, a social media campaign designed to generate awareness of prostate cancer and support a donation of up to $125,000 from Astellas to four research and advocacy organizations: Prostate Cancer Foundation, Australia Prostate Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and Prostate Cancer Canada…The launch of #pass4prostate kicks off the month leading up to the USA Eagles versus Qantas Wallabies rugby match on September 5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, presented by Astellas. During the month of August, the #pass4prostate challenge will “bring” the game ball along a journey from Sydney to Soldier Field for the game. being frugal financially, Ryan Broyles believes he has set up future
It all started after a meeting with a financial adviser soon after being drafted in 2012. The adviser gave Broyles some advice he used to shape his life: Spend as you would like over the next few months. Figure out your means. Then set a budget, live within it and invest the rest. Broyles signed a contract worth more than $3.6 million after being taken in the second round. More than $1.422 million was guaranteed. But Broyles knew the other statistics — ones reinforced when he went to the rookie symposium. He knew NFL players, and athletes in general, go bankrupt. He saw athletes blow through millions. He was determined not to have that happen to him. He came up with a budget. Broyles said he and his wife, Mary Beth, have lived on $60,000 a year, “give or take,” throughout his career. Everything else has gone to investments, retirement savings and securing Broyles’ post-football monetary future.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco gets Special Olympics medal from fan
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is known for hanging out after training camp practice to give autographs to fans. On Tuesday, he received something special in return. A Special Olympics athlete gave Flacco a medal that he had won and wrote a message on the ribbon that read: “Never Give Up. Love, Stephen.” Flacco wore the medal around his neck as he continued signing and taking pictures with the 60 Special Olympics athletes who visited practice. “You can tell how much it meant to him,” Flacco said. “It’s definitely really cool to see that raw excitement.” Flacco has supported Special Olympics since he joined the Ravens in 2008. He has filmed TV commercials for the organization and he has regularly appeared at the Polar Bear Plunge, its annual fundraiser.

A Special Olympics athlete gave Joe Flacco a medal that he had won and wrote a message on the ribbon that read: “Never Give Up. Love, Stephen.” Jamison Hensley

NFL gives $2.5M to UW Medicine for new Sports Health and Safety Institute
“Our hope is that the research and findings uncovered by the Institute will be used to help shape the rules, regulations and best practices as it relates to safety across all sports,” Ellenbogen said in a statement. “It is far too often that athletes have a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, so it is our responsibility to ensure the medical staff on the sidelines have the knowledge and resources in place to ensure that no athlete returns to the field prematurely.” UW Medicine noted that 35 million children participate in U.S. recreational sports each year, with 3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occurring in the same time frame. The institute said that while it will first focus on concussion-related injuries, it may also research other health-related topics in sports like sudden cardiac arrest.

LeBron James and U of Akron to give 4-year scholarships t qualifying students
‘It’s the reason I do what I do,” said James, who announced the program Thursday while hosting an event for students at Cedar Point Amusement Park. ”These students have big dreams, and I’m happy to do everything I can to help them get there. They’re going to have to earn it, but I’m excited to see what these kids can accomplish knowing that college is in their futures.” The school and the LeBron James Family Foundation are still finalizing the criteria for the scholarships. The students will have to graduate high school within Akron’s public school system and achieve standard testing requirements as well as fulfill a community service obligation. […] ”It means so much because, as a kid growing up in the inner city and a lot of African-American kids, you don’t really think past high school,” said James, who bypassed college to jump to the NBA. ”You don’t really know your future. You hear high school all the time, and you graduate high school and then you never think past that because either it’s not possible or your family’s not financially stable to even be able to support a kid going to college.” […]

From “No Girls Allowed” to Playing at the Garden
Kymora Johnson and her teammates may not have been able to walk onto the court at their youth basketball tournament, but they’ve just been given an upgrade. The New York Liberty are flying in the under-11 Charlottesville Cavaliers to play a game at Madison Square Garden this weekend, exactly two weeks after being disqualified from the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA) tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for playing Johnson on their team. “The Liberty organization thought it would be great to do something special for the team,” Kristin Bernert, SVP Business & Basketball Operations for the New York Liberty, told The Huffington Post. “Ultimately, the Liberty are striving to inspire young women to take their basketball experiences and build a foundation for successful, healthy adult lives.”

Kymora Johnson and Her Cavs Are Going To Play a Game at Madison Square Garden

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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.

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