Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #297

Sept. 23 – Oct. 6, 2018

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

  1. She Went From a Champion to Being Unable to Walk – Then Returned to Shatter a National Record
  2. Sun Coach Curt Miller Aims for Honesty With Team and Family
  3. ‘The people know that Jose Juan is part of Puerto Rico. He feels it.’
  4. Once homeless, Panthers’ Efe Obada wins NFC defensive player of week
  5. The NYC Marathon Showcases Powerful Stories to Excite Runners and Spectators This Race Season
  6. For Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, History in the Broadcast Booth
  7. MLB stars lend voices to Shred Hate in bullying prevention month
  8. How the City of Pittsburgh Is Embracing the NFL’s Rooney Rule
  9. Yuki Kawauchi Is Distance Running’s Elite Oddball
  10. Company changing the way fans watch and interact with sports in real-time raises $35M

A Moment In Time When Ana Met Cafu
Dads & daughters front UEFA ad push to promote women’s football (Beyond Sport)  
Milwaukee … LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO! (by Christian Yelich) (The Players’ Tribune)  
PSD organises mixed gender volleyball tournament in Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Cricket chiefs aim to reach 1m kids through 2019 World Cup (Beyond Sport)

We present again our “Featured Video” offering(s). With the explosion of video content out there highlighting the good in sport, we want to showcase such content for your enjoyment and learning. This will be an ongoing effort.

            Diving For Golf Balls in America’s Most Famous Water Hazard


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 And we are now also on Instagram. Find us at sportsdoinggood.

Finally, if you think others would like to receive the newsletter, please feel free to forward it on or have them contact us directly at (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the email)

So, enjoy. And have a good week.

She Went From a Champion to Being Unable to Walk – Then Returned to Shatter a National Record
Rikenette Steenkamp, a hurdler from South Africa, was well on her way to being one of the most accomplished athletes of her time. Steenkamp made the decision when she was just 6 years-old to be an athlete. By the time she was 22, she had become internationally recognized in track and field and there was no doubt her career choice was leading towards greatness. She imagined herself running forever—but then in 2016, when doctors discovered an extra bone in her ankle, it seemed that her life as a champion had come to an end. The more hurdles she jumped over, the more pain she felt in her ankle, eventually leading her to undergo surgery to have the extra bone removed. The surgery resulted in two years that were so painful that the star athlete spiraled into a crippling depression. “I felt like I was left behind by the world and forgotten,” she told Beautiful News. Despite this setback, however, Steenkamp was determined to run again—even if she had to learn how to walk again, first.

SteenkampSun Coach Curt Miller Aims for Honesty With Team and Family
By the time of Miller’s hiring in Connecticut, an article detailing the arduous path he took before admitting he was gay had been published by the website “As someone who is a member of that community, I thought it was brave of him” to acknowledge being gay, said Amber Cox, the Sun’s vice president. “You just don’t know how people are going to react. For years, there were no protections in place for job security. Society has advanced, although we are not yet where we need to be over all. For me, personally, it got to the point where you just can’t care. You want to live a life you can share with those around you.” Now Miller is determined to use his multiple platforms to be an advocate for those who might benefit from his experiences. “I missed out for decades on taking advantage to be a role model or inspiration, especially to a young male coach who might be struggling as I did, wondering if I could chase my dreams,” Miller said. “I have always wanted to be known as the successful basketball coach that happens to be gay as opposed to the gay coach who people felt was a pretty good coach.”

MillerMiller has taken the Sun to the W.N.B.A. playoffs for a second consecutive season. Credit Monica Jorge for The New York Times

‘The people know that Jose Juan is part of Puerto Rico. He feels it.’
area had lived through Hurricane Georges in 1998, when his family went without electricity for a month, and saw the carnage that storm caused. He knew from following the news that Maria was much worse, with extensive damage throughout the island and an official death toll that would grow to 2,975. He felt, regardless of the federal government’s role, that it was his duty as a high-profile professional athlete to help struggling Puerto Ricans as much as possible. “We have an example: Roberto Clemente,” Barea says, referring to the Puerto Rican baseball legend and humanitarian who died at 38 years old in a Dec. 31, 1972 plane crash while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, a couple of months before the coliseum named after him opened. “That’s our example; we’ve got to follow it. Starting with me and the baseball players, if everybody does their job to help … And I think we did a good job, we did a good job of helping. The basketball players, the baseball players, the artists, the singers, whatever — we’ve got to help.”

BareaPhoto, Danny Bollinger

Once homeless, Panthers’ Efe Obada wins NFC defensive player of week
“I’m over the moon,” Obada said, according to the Panthers’ website. “Words can’t describe how I feel right now. I’m still filled with adrenaline.” Then on Wednesday he was named the best defensive player in the NFC for Week 3. “Storybook” doesn’t begin to describe it. Everyone in the NFL has a story and most of them are pretty special, sometimes inspiring. There’s no story like Obada’s tale, however. Obada moved to the Netherlands and was trafficked to the UK by one of his mother’s friends in 2002, when he was 10 years old. He and his 11-year-old sister were abandoned there. Their mother never joined them and he and his sister were homeless for a short time. They stayed with a family in Stockwell for five years, where they “were like domestic slaves,” Obada told NFL UK. At 15 years old, Obada and his sister entered social services and were “home-hopping and living with strangers,” he told NFL UK. In his early 20s, Obada picked up American football.

ObadaCarolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada won NFC defensive player of the week after a big effort in his first NFL game. (AP)

The NYC Marathon Showcases Powerful Stories to Excite Runners and Spectators This Race Season
Running a marathon, for many, can be an incredibly hard but rewarding experience. It can also provide some serious inspiration for those running the race, but also for those watching at home or in the streets. The TCS New York City Marathon and New York Road Runners (the running organization behind the race) know that the stories that propel those runners across the finish line can sometimes be just as powerful as that final moment when each runner finally reaches it, 26.2 miles later. As marathon day approaches—this year’s race will take place on Nov. 4—the New York Road Runners (NYRR) have launched a platform, relying on powerful storytelling, to drum up excitement for the race. The organization also hopes to drive tune-ins across the world on race day. To accomplish that, the organization today launched “Team #MovedMe.” It’s a campaign that spreads across digital, social, print and TV. It focuses on 26 runners, each of whom showcases how running has the power to transform you and your life.

NYC marathon bridge

For Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, History in the Broadcast Booth
Amazon announced Tuesday that the veteran sports broadcasters Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer would provide commentary this season on the company’s “Thursday Night Football” stream. Storm and Kremer will be the first all-woman booth to call any major men’s team sport, not just football. “Thursday Night Football” will be shown on traditional television on Fox, where Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call the games. Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream the Fox telecast, as well as three alternative commentary options: Storm and Kremer, a Spanish-language stream and a U.K.-English stream. Kremer is a correspondent for the N.F.L. Network and HBO’s “Real Sports” and previously worked for ESPN and as the sideline reporter for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Storm hosts “SportsCenter” as well as anchors ESPN’s coverage of numerous major sports events. She also owns a company that produces sports documentaries. They are following in the footsteps of Gayle Sierens, who called one N.F.L. game in 1987, and Beth Mowins, who has called a “Monday Night Football” game each of the past two seasons. Before their debut on Thursday night, Storm and Kremer talked about their style, their historic accomplishment, the kind words they received from Charles Barkley, and what comes next. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Storm KremerHannah Storm, left, and Andrea Kremer will be the first all-woman booth to call any major men’s team sport. Credit Getty Images

MLB stars lend voices to Shred Hate in bullying prevention month
“Shred Hate is delivering a really important message,” Lindor said. “Over 10 million kids per year are targets of bullying in schools and even more are targeted on social media. No one deserves to be bullied and it’s up to all of us to make sure it doesn’t happen.” Springer, who continues to overcome a speech stutter, said the Shred Hate initiative has a fulfilling element for him. “I went through the ups and the downs of being made fun of from my words getting said back to me or getting called Stuttering Stanley, all that stuff,” Springer said. “Baseball allowed me to be who I was, to go out and not think about having to speak in public and not having to think about the social anxiety aspect of it. “Sports allowed me to do and be who I wanted to be. It allowed me to do everything. It allowed me to participate freely, to speak freely. It allowed me to come out of my shell. I thought back to how far I’ve come since high school when I didn’t like to talk. I didn’t like to speak in public unless I was on a playing field. I want kids and adults to be themselves and to enjoy their lives and not let anything stop them.” Shred Hate was launched in January of 2017 and has reached nearly 30,000 students. Nine MLB clubs — the Cubs, White Sox, Angels, Dodgers, Twins, Phillies, Pirates, Rangers and Nationals — currently support the bullying prevention efforts for the 2018-19 academic school year.

Trout MikeHow the City of Pittsburgh Is Embracing the NFL’s Rooney Rule
Manuel says the city has implemented training and development for internal candidates and expanded their sourcing for external candidates so as to avoid any perception of the rule being a sham. “And people think we’re saying it just to say it and it’s nice to say,” Manuel says “but in the past year I think the work that’s been done has proven that we take it seriously, and we’re going to take all efforts both internally and externally that the right people are placed in the position and not have it made a mockery out of it.” Peduto boasts that three of the five members on the urban redevelopment authority are black. Seven of the nine people in the city’s planning department are women. Before the interview is over, Peduto recalls the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates being the first team in Major League Baseball to field an all-black lineup. When asked about it after the game, manager Danny Murtaugh said he simply put the best nine players on the field. “We have a lot of talent in this city,” Peduto says, “and my goal is to find the ones that have been placed at a card table for years and take them to the big table.”

Rooney RuleKeith Srakocic/AP/Shutterstock

Yuki Kawauchi Is Distance Running’s Elite Oddball
Kawauchi will compete in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, and he will be a cult favorite, regardless of the outcome, a tether between world-class performers and weekend warriors as they run 26.2 miles on the same course. Citizen Runner is Kawauchi’s nickname. Even the exertion that wrenches his face in each race suggests a commoner’s labor. Most of the world’s top marathon runners are full-time athletes who race two marathons a year, one in the spring, another in the fall. Chicago will be Kawauchi’s ninth marathon of 2018. As August faded into September, he ran two in eight days. He has also run two ultramarathons. Kawauchi, 31, works 40 hours a week in the administrative office of Kuki High School in his hometown, just north of Tokyo. As a government employee, he can keep his race winnings ($150,000 for Boston) and bonus money but is not permitted to accept corporate sponsorships, including a potentially lucrative shoe contract. That will change next April, when Kawauchi plans to quit his job and devote himself completely to running. For now, he follows a singular, audacious plan.

KawauchiYuki Kawauchi, the Boston Marathon champion, takes an unusual approach to his sport, including training as he commutes to his regular job at a school in Kuki, Japan. Credit Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Company changing the way fans watch and interact with sports in real-time raises $35M
Rabin emphasized that Heed’s real focus isn’t on building fancy hardware, but rather on the artificial intelligence it uses to take that data (which can also be drawn from video and audio footage of the match) and transform it into a general narrative that can be viewed on the Heed smartphone app. Pointing to the UFC glove, Rabin said, “We extract, only from this sensor, 70 different data points. What’s happening is, the fusion of these data points is what creates the stories.” Put another way, the goal is to replace the generic commentary that you often get in sports coverage and live games with unique details about how the game or match is unfolding. Those aren’t just numbers like how hard someone is punching, but also inferences about a player’s emotional state based on the data. “One of our core promises is that it’s not editorial driven,” Rabin added. “The AI is selecting what’s interesting in a match. Of course, we have a creative team that designs the formats, the visuals, how the packaging should look like, but that’s incorporated into the technology, which is automatically selecting the moments and creating the experiences with no human interpretation.”


Quick Links…


Our Website

More About Us
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.

Contact Information

Sarbjit “Sab” Singh