As a former Michigan baseball player, Jeff Diamond knows the value of good sportsmanship. That’s why he created Good Sports, an organization designed to get inner-city kids involved in athletics.
The aim of the group is to bring kids from inner-city Detroit to the University to watch varsity sports and participate in after-school sports activities. Diamond is hoping to have University students donate one dollar each to participate in intramural sports and would use the money to fund the activities.
A sophomore in the School of Kinesiology, Diamond said he wanted to create something that he could get excited about and that other students would be interested in as well.
“I really wanted to get into community service,” Diamond said. “I hadn’t really done anything freshman year and I wanted to create something that I could relate to, since I played sports my whole life.”
Diamond said he decided to try something new after leaving the Michigan baseball team earlier this school year. A walk-on to the team as a freshman, Diamond left the team at the end of his first season in order to focus more time on being a student.
He was inspired to play a more active role in the community by his brother Mike Diamond. While a student, Diamond’s brother helped direct Blood Battle, a competition that pits the University of Michigan against Ohio State University to see which school can donate more pints of blood. Diamond started planning Good Sports in October.
Diamond said he hopes to partner with a Detroit after-school program and help kids attend Michigan athletic events. While he hasn’t narrowed down his target organization yet, Diamond is excited about the possibilities.
He said he wanted sports to play a major part in the organization because sports help to bring together people with diverse backgrounds.
“Sports, at least for me, gave me the great ability to have a better education at a school like Michigan,” Diamond said. “So maybe through a focus at sports, they can better their lives. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Diamond said Good Sports is hosting a dodgeball tournament to kick off the fundraising on March 28 at the Intramural Building. The event will feature five-person teams that can participate for $5 per person. Teams can sign up by e-mailing email@example.com.
“Our goal is to get about 20 to 25 teams,” he said. “This might be the only event where we ask for more than a dollar.”
Diamond said he ultimately hopes that the University will be willing to pitch in to help Good Sports.
“Everyone can be a good sport, just by doing a small thing. Giving a handshake or reaching out a hand,” he said. “This is giving donations or giving time. This is just another way of being a good sport.”