CMS Middle School Sports Could Get Boost
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - At first glance, it looks like nothing more than an afternoon basketball game at James Martin Middle School. But if you look a little closer, the kids aren't playing just for points. They're also motivated by leadership. Connection. And education. Athletic Director Rickie Clark says, "We're trying to involve as many kids as we can at school and it doesn't really matter how I connect them, be it sports, chess club, whatever, as long as you can get an extra connection to the school, that's gonna give that kid an extra reason to come to school."
CMS had to make some tough budget cuts last year. Middle school sports teams just like the one at James Martin Middle were among the victims. Now, it's a pay to play system. And with the district already looking and $100 million more worth of cuts next year, there's no telling what's at risk.
Clark says, "(There are) just so many kids that did not choose the situation they was born into. And we, as adults, we have the opportunity to do something about it."
One of those opportunities is coming up on January 20th. "Fight Night for Kids" is a black tie extravaganza at the Charlotte Convention Center that includes live professional boxing, a live auction of all kinds of sports gear, a movie star autograph and much more. Charlotte Regional Sports Commission Executive Director Jeff Beaver says, "I've been told its the best networking event in Charlotte, bar none."
Since 2000, Fight Night has raised more than $1 million for local children's organizations. An independent volunteer board determines who gets how much. This is the first year CMS is in the running. The district will find out about a week after Fight Night if they get any of the funding.
Clark says, "Fight Night saying they're thinking about financing middle school sports, you're talking, just for this school alone, 400 kids that'll get to play.”
400 kids, playing not just for points.
Fight Night tables are still available, but you don't have to attend the event to support local kids. New this year, you can buy a ticket for the 2 year car lease that's up for raffle - or make a donation - no matter how small. Goto: http://www.charlottesports.org/fightnight/