Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rick Hendrick Is a Hero

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 8/03/2011 No comments
Great news today from an announcement by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In recent months, I'd talked to several community leaders and educators who were concerned about how Charlotte youth would be negatively impacted if middle school sports were eliminated due to budget cuts. "Kids in well-to-do families will make up for it by playing in rec leagues. But kids in working class or low-income families can't afford that or their parents, many of them single parents, won't be able to shuttle them around to practices," a school representative told me one day a couple of months ago. I also had a conversation about how after-school sports help keep kids off the street. Now, thanks to the generosity of Charlotte businessman and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, CMS' middle school sports will not be cut this school year.

Read an excerpt of the CMS news release below.

A $250,000 sponsorship agreement with Hendrick Automotive Group will allow Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to offer a complete program of middle school sports for the 2011-12 academic year.

Due to budget cuts, CMS had expected to reduce the number of middle school sports offered in previous years. The Hendrick sponsorship, combined with a contribution from an unidentified donor, provides the remaining amount necessary to fund the full lineup of 13 sports at all 32 middle schools for more than 6,500 students participating in athletics across the district.

The agreement gives the company naming rights of statistics announced during breaks at high school athletic events; recognition as a title partner in announcements at the end of high school events; and signage that will be displayed at middle and high school athletic events.

CMS will use the sponsorship money to help pay coaching stipends, fees for officials and transportation costs for middle school athletics. Students must still pay some sports-participation fees, introduced by CMS for all middle and high school student-athletes last year.

“As someone who participated in sports growing up and has kids who played, I understand the impact those experiences can have on young people,” said Rick Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group.


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