Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #267

July 16 – July 29, 2017

Welcome to issue two hundred and sixty-seven of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:

  1. Tennis Star Andy Murray Reminds Reporter That Women Exist Too
  2. Hyemin Kim donates Symetra Tour winnings to charity
  3. Draft-Night Darling Takk McKinley Is ‘Having Fun and Living the Dream’
  4. The Real First Family of Hoops
  5. The trailblazing pace at which sport is evolving
  6. Harmanpreet Kaur: India’s new cricket star wants to inspire next generation
  7. Afghan-born Dane Nadim says sport key to opening closed doors
  8. What this basketball champion can teach us about finding our own passion.
  9. ‘Dude Perfect’ Stars Promise More “Crazy Ideas” for Comedy-Sports Show’s Second Season
  10. 84-Year-Old Miracle Whip Just Inked a Sponsorship Deal With an Octogenarian Basketball Team

Where empowerment lives: Finding body acceptance through movement (Sport and Dev)
14 Things You Didn’t Know About #14 Sugar Rodgers (Up2Us Sports)
The Phone Call (by Claudio Ranieri) (The Players’ Tribune)
MINEPS VI: When Ministers Determine Ways of Making Sport a Stronger Tool for Peace (Peace and Sport)
Leadership in sport and development: A for accountable (Sport and Dev)

There are thankfully a lot of stories of athletes donating money to all types of causes related and unrelated to sport. Many times it is a higher profile athlete who makes a substantial donation that catches our eye. But such a donation should not be the only ones we appreciate. Anything that is given is important in helping to achieve the charitable/philanthropic/socially responsible goals of an organization or campaign. Because of that, every donation and every instance of volunteering time is valuable. It may be even more compelling when the person doing the giving is not necessarily in a place to donate that much. With that in mind, a story this week involving a professional women’s golfer got our attention.

Hyemin Kim recently won a tournament on the LPGA’s developmental circuit, the Symetra Tour, and donated the entirety of her winnings – $15,000 – to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, a program that introduces girls ages 6-17 to the sport. Please take a moment to read this article as it presents an obviously well-intentioned, mature young lady who has recognized that her success was partly based on the support she got from other people, including golfers. She has also seen what top female golfers have done with respect to charity and philanthropy and decided to follow their lead. We were so taken with Hyemin and wish her the best in the future, which will almost assuredly have her on the top level of women’s golf.

The other stories we are happy to feature this week include: tennis star Andy Murray who once again stood up for women’s sports; new NFL player Takk McKinley and the excitement of achieving his dream; the amazing basketball-playing Ogwumike sisters; a look at some of the new sports on the scene that is providing greater opportunities for participants and those looking to work in sports; Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s new female cricket star who wants to inspire the next generation of players and fans; Afghan-born soccer player Dane Nadim who has used sport to change her life for the better; recently-retired, future NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce discussing following one’s passion, no matter what it is; the amazing guys from “Dude Perfect” and their plans for an even greater season of plays and hijinks; and an unexpected sports sponsorship undertaken by the Miracle Whip brand.

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So, enjoy. And have a good week.

Tennis Star Andy Murray Reminds Reporter That Women Exist Too
He has the receipts to show he’s been pushing back on casual and institutional disrespect of women in tennis for a while now. Last year, when a prominent tournament director said women should be grateful for the men’s game boosting the profile of women players and then was followed by top-ranked player Novak Djokovic saying men deserved to be paid more than women, Murray was not having it. He countered both of them, saying, “I think there should be equal pay, 100%, at all combined events.” And just this week, Murray spoke out about how Wimbledon’s organizers weren’t scheduling enough women’s matches on the marquee courts, giving male player’s double the opportunities to play in front of the tournament’s biggest crowds. Players on the women’s tour have appreciated Murray’s support. “He’s so positive with women players. He doesn’t play favourites. And then he’s always watching women’s tennis,” Serena Williams said after winning the French Open two years ago. “He watches more than I do and makes me feel bad. I’m like, gosh. I think that’s inspiring. He really is pro-woman.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Hyemin Kim donates Symetra Tour winnings to charity
High-profile professional golfers often get plenty of attention for their charitable causes, but a member of the rank-and-file — a young woman still climbing the competitive ladder and not playing for lucrative purses — was in the spotlight Wednesday at the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club. Hyemin Kim, a native of South Korea playing on the Symetra Tour, announced that she is donating her $15,000 check for winning the 2017 POC Med Golf Classic to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, a program that introduces girls ages 6-17 to the sport. “My mom [Inja Park] and I always talked about donating the paycheck from my first win to charity,” said Kim, 29, who is in her fifth season on the developmental circuit. “I remember growing up in Korea and first being introduced to the game. I just want to help the next generation of girls, and my hope is that this donation helps bring more girls to golf that don’t have the means on their own.” LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, which began in 1989, has 408 sites that attract more than 70,000 girls. The program will use Kim’s donation to provide equipment, instruction and scholarships to participants. Girls younger than 18 are currently the fastest-growing demographic in golf, according to the National Golf Foundation.

Mark Sims/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images

Draft-Night Darling Takk McKinley Is ‘Having Fun and Living the Dream’
When Takk first came to UCLA, he stayed in his dorm room most of the time and was guarded with other players and most coaches. Coach Angus had his trust because he had known him since Takk was a high school sophomore. When he asked Takk why he stayed in his room so much, Takk told Coach Angus, “This is the first time I’ve had my own room, and I’m just enjoying it.” Coach Angus understands why Takk is so bold. Bruin Walk cuts through the heart of UCLA’s campus, from the residences to the classroom buildings. It’s a little like the city around it—nice for sightseeing, but very frenetic at times with a lot of people trying to push their agendas on a lot of other people with no interest. It can be, however, a good place for a long talk. It is on Bruin Walk where Coach Angus and Takk had some substantive conversations that helped Takk become Takk. “We spent a lot of time with each other,” Coach Angus says. “We talked about UCLA, about football, academics, his life, how he grew up, people who helped him, the challenges he had as a young guy in Richmond. We talked about everything, and there was a lot to talk about.”

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Real First Family of Hoops
The Ogwumikes are the type to play next-after-next-after-next-after-next-after-next in pickup, looking bewildered when everyone else in the gym starts taking off their kicks to call it quits. All four Ogwumike women, whose last name means “warrior” in Igbo, one of the national languages of Nigeria, are relentless. “No matter how we feel when we walk on the basketball court, we all have this sense of pride, so we always work hard,” Erica says. Last season, Chiney took a nasty elbow to the mouth. She felt her tooth shake—it fell out the next day—but she kept playing. Only now has she set up an appointment for an implant. Nneka has a three-inch scar on the right side of her body from diving into the scorer’s table while playing for the Polish team CCC Polkowice in the Final Eight of Euroleague in Russia. She hopped right back in the game. Olivia has been whacked in the head as an undersized forward more times than she’d like to remember. Erica is the only Ogwumike to wear a mouth guard, as she boxes out players a head or two taller than she in the paint. “We’ve all had our battle scars,” says Chiney, who is sitting out this season to rehab a left Achilles injury.

The trailblazing pace at which sport is evolving
With that said, the shift to a content-driven, fast-paced, byte-sized world has started to challenge the boundaries of sport. At a first glance, and in an attempt to evolve, traditional sports are trying to re-invent themselves. Sports are looking to re-invent themselves in a way that leads to more highlight-reel quality. Rugby 7s is rising, Golf has introduced a new format – Golf Sixes, Tennis has seen both team play in the International Premier Tennis League and a new individual format in Tie Break Tens, and who can forget cricket’s renaissance through T20 and the Indian Premier League, which in many ways kick-started all of this? Sports across the world are looking to re-invent formats but at the same time sports that have only popped up in the last few years are starting to gain ground, following, and challenge our definition of sport. If you have ever entered the debate “is [insert sport here] a sport” that debate is about to heat up with some of the rising sports out there. A few months ago, JK Rowling’s fictitious sport Quidditch leapt from paper to the lawn with launch of the Quidditch Premier League. Recently World Chase Tag are getting all the attention after professionalizing a playground pastime, tag, in a format that is the sporting manifestation of parkour. Football has long fought off new formats, but freestyle and panna games have existed for a while.

Harmanpreet Kaur: India’s new cricket star wants to inspire next generation
“My favorite congratulations came from my parents,” Kaur tells CNN from the team bus, as the squad travels down to London for Sunday’s final against England at Lord’s. “To know that I’ve made them proud — and made the country proud — means so much.” As a child, Kaur’s parents supported and encouraged her to pursue the “dream” she had of one day playing for her country. When Kaur’s dad took her to play cricket, it was always against the boys. Even when she got to an academy, Kaur says she continued to play against the boys. Though if she always harbored hopes of eventually wearing India’s iconic blue kit, surely even Thursday’s history-making innings were beyond her wildest dreams. With her team faltering on 35-2 in the 10th over, Kaur made her way to the crease in an attempt to stabilize the batting and set a reasonable target for Australia to chase. What followed was a performance of flair, elegance and incredible skill, as the 28-year-old eventually posted a score of 171 off just 115 balls, including seven sixes and 20 fours. It proved to be a match-winning knock, as India amassed a total of 281-4. In reply, Australia were bowled out for 245. While from the outside onlookers knew they were witnessing something truly special, at the crease Kaur says she was truly unaware as to the enormity of her achievement.

Kaur’s unbeaten 171 from 115 balls is being talked about as one of the most spectacular innings in limited-overs cricket.

Afghan-born Dane Nadim says sport key to opening closed doors
Having fled her native Afghanistan with her family as a child, Nadia Nadim has found a new home in Denmark, whose shirt she is wearing at the women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands. The 29-year-old striker with the Portland Thorns in the US National Women’s Soccer League left her home with her mother and four sisters in 2000, after her father had been murdered by the Taliban. “We had no choice than escaping the country because it was too dangerous to live there,” Nadim told AFP at Denmark’s training ground in Heelsum. “We got helped by a human smuggler to get to Denmark and now I’m here.” Nadim took up football at a refugee centre in Denmark, playing with boys. “There was nothing else to do and there was a really big club close to the centre and that’s where I started.” She has played for several Danish clubs before joining the New Jersey-based Sky Blue in the NWSL in 2014 and Portland two years later. “Playing for Portland is huge, this is 100 percent a dream come true,” said Nadim. “I remember when I was younger and I had to imagine what it will be to be a professional football player. It was this way that it is right now. So, it’s amazing and such honour to be a part of that club.” Nadim joined the Danish national team in 2009 after the Danish federation had negotiated an exception from the country’s immigration laws. She has scored nine goals in 22 games in qualifying for the three Euro tournaments in which she has taken part so far — but seven of those goals came in eight games in the 2017 campaign. “The previous tournaments were kind of different for me, having a coach who didn’t really have trust in me so I didn’t feel I played a major role,” said Nadim. “Now it’s different, I have developed as a player, but also have the trust of the coach,” she added after having figured in both the opening 1-0 win against Belgium and the subsequent 1-0 loss to the Netherlands.

What this basketball champion can teach us about finding our own passion.
Nicknamed “The Truth,” Pierce was known the world over for his undeniable court savvy, clutch shooting, and killer basketball instinct. In 2008, he won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics and capped off his amazing playoff run with a Finals MVP award. Pierce is also a champion off the court. His nonprofit, “The Truth Fund,” empowers underserved youth by providing them with educational assistance. He’s also the recipient of the NBA Home Team Community Service Award and has assisted various organizations with rebuilding parks and neighborhoods across the country. This past season, Pierce stepped away from the NBA after a legendary 19-year career. But just because he’s no longer playing basketball doesn’t mean he’s lost an ounce of his passion for sports — he’s still got plenty of it. And aside from basketball, there’s one sport that Pierce loves — a lot. And it might take some people by surprise. “I’m very passionate about bowling,” he explains. He says part of the reason he loves it so much is because it is a very social sport. “Even though there is a competition, it’s a great social environment for you and your friends to go relax, get your mind off stuff, and also have fun with it,” he says. In fact, as Pierce started seeing success in the NBA, he never let go of bowling and always made sure it was a huge part of his life.

‘Dude Perfect’ Stars Promise More “Crazy Ideas” for Comedy-Sports Show’s Second Season
This season also will feature the ensemble attempting a slam dunk into the world’s largest basketball hoop from 150 feet away, circumnavigating a minefield of mousetraps and blindly navigating each other through “trust obstacles.” Kids, don’t try this at home. The stars agree that while they haven’t sustained any major injuries, that doesn’t mean they have come out of every stunt unscathed. “Surprisingly, we haven’t had that many injuries over the course of nine years. I say not too bad, but that is insulting to Cory because his finger doesn’t straighten out anymore because of a stunt,” said Coby Cotton. Dude Perfect now has more than 40 million fans and followers, more than 2.5 billion online video views and the top sports channel on YouTube. The group members also have broken 28 Guinness World Records in sports. As the Dude Perfect brand has expanded over the last few years, the college grads reflected on their journey from office jobs to sports stuntman stars. “We just could not get away from this opportunity to hang out with our best friends and have fun, continue to compete and put it on camera so that other people could smile and have fun right along with us,” said Cory Cotton.

84-Year-Old Miracle Whip Just Inked a Sponsorship Deal With an Octogenarian Basketball Team
Like a lot of major brands, Miracle Whip has decided to sink some of its marketing dollars into sports sponsorships. Unlike other brands, however, it’s chosen to underwrite a team with no famous stars, no major-league presence and no big arena to call home. The Kraft-owned condiment brand just announced a new partnership with the San Diego Splash, a women’s basketball team whose players are all over 80. Setting aside the eyebrow-raising fact that these silver-haired athletes actually play a pretty mean game of hoops, the operative question here is: What does a senior-league team have to do with Miracle Whip? Actually, more than you might think…“Our brand purpose is with its heritage, and the best things being passed on,” Carpenter told Adweek. “So just seeing these ladies touching people of all ages lined up with how we think about our brand.” Carpenter credits espnW, ESPN’s platform dedicated to women’s sports, for bringing the Splash to national attention with a segment it aired in June—one so popular it’s since racked up 24,000 Facebook shares and about 12 million views overall. Carpenter, like many viewers, was inspired by the footage of the women, some of them in their 90s, lacing up, sinking baskets and facing down opposing teams with considerable competitive vigor. “They’re challenging consumers to think differently about what people can achieve in this stage of their lives,” he said.

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