One of the worst sights for anyone who has a passion for sports is coming across the forgotten remains of any athletic field. Add to that, dozens of young middle school students who are dodging sink holes, broken fencing and trash in order to enjoy a sport we take for granted, and we have a serious problem.
A little back story: It was the end of September and the Charlotte Royals were poised to hold our annual rugby tournament. At the last minunte, due to weather concerns, we lost the reservation for our pitch. Panicked, we hit the phones and we were turned down by everyone we could reach. That is until we made contact with a representative of one of the youth programs here in Charlotte. His solution was an abandoned and severely neglected field behind Marie G Davis middle school. Without hesitation we accepted his offer, mowed and striped the pitch and held a fantastic tournament!
Everyone that attended that day expressed their appreciation for the last minute assistance with the field. We all wished we could do something to bring the abandoned field back to life. Over the next few weeks we learned of the struggles that the kids who still practice there are exposed to daily. They have to avoid the massive sinkhole near the touch line and fight through over grown vines and weeds that have taken control of almost everything around the perimeter. There is noeffective lighting so the kids practice in dim lighting conditions under the best of circumstances. The handicap ramp to the field is impassable. We learned that there just aren’t any funds that can be spent on repairs, as every dollar the school gets goes towards education.
No child should have to be exposed to such unsafe conditions, so we have teamed up with the athletic department at Marie G Davis Middle School to do something about it. We want to give these kids a solid place to play a sport that has means the world to us all. The Charlotte Royals are committed to supporting a long term goal of keeping this field save and available to the kids. We plan on investing a lot of sweat-equity from the team and other volunteers, but financially we will need a more broader approach. We need the financial support of the community as well. 100% of the funds we raise will be used by the team to repair the field and any remaining monies shall be donated to the school’s athletic program to ensure that rugby continues. These kids mostly come from an area of the city that is economically disadvantaged and are hoping to level the playing field just a little more.
What we are going to accomplish:
Install lighting for the field.
Remove all of the over grown vegetation.
Remove or repair all the broken chain link fencing.
Fix and cover the large sinkhole.
Purchase and install two sets of bleachers.
Install trash cans.
Install a new score board.
Clean and paint the retaining wall with school colors.
Clean and reopen the handicap accessible ramp.
Make the old track safe to walk on.
Install a wooden viewing platform.
It is an ambitious goal, but that’s what rugby is all about. Set a high goal and reach it.
Please reach out to the Charlotte Royals Rugby Club for questions: [email redacted]
Charlotte Royals Rugby Football Club
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.