Help us create equity in athletics.
Until three years ago, Baltimore City Public Schools had never seen a field hockey team... but then we decided to change that. (Read our story below.)
Despite our tumultuous beginnings, we have become a close-knit team of dedicated players, extremely passionate about this sport we have grown to love.
During next year's season, we hope to expand our roster of games, but to do so, we also need to increase our funding. Costs include paying referees and medical personnel so we can have home games; buses so we can safely travel to games; maintenence for our goals and fields; updated equipment; and clinics so we can improve our skills. Because we are only a school "club," we don't get the school or district funding that "sports" do. Instead, we have had to fundraise every dollar.
We are nearing the last of our games for this year, but we don't want to stop playing! We want to join the Garrison Forest Indoor League to refine our skills and continue the fun. (Read about the league here: https://www.gfs.org/athletics/indoor-hockey-league) This would let us grow alongside club teams by participating in hour-long indoor games each weekend.
In order to do this, we have to pay the season fee of $1,100 as soon as possible to reserve our slot. In addition, we have to buy special indoor sticks which cost around $50 each.
Please donate to allow Poly field hockey players to continue our passion for playing.
We truly appreciate your generosity, and we know our team wouldn't be here today if it weren't for people like you-- parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, colleagues, anyone who shares our passion for sports. Thank you so much for whatever you are able to donate: even the smallest amount makes a difference.
Please share this with as many people as you can: If we can find 200 people to donate just $10 each, we will have reached our goal! We need you to help us get there.
We sincerely thank you.
Field hockey is not a particularly diverse sport in America, and it is rarely found in city schools. But despite the odds, thanks to the hard work of our players, the sport has generated great enthusiasm at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.
When we first tried to start the team, most people predicted it simply wouldn't work out: there wasn't a team before, they said, and there was probably a reason.
Regardless, we decided to give it a try. We emailed 150+ regional former coaches. We plastered the school with dozens of posters, and begged every girl we saw to join our team. We demanded meetings with administrators to figure out the logistics.
We began practicing, confined to the corners of overgrown fields, first with yard-sale hockey sticks. Usually only a few girls showed up, and without a coach, we had to run practices ourselves, figuring out the basics with each other's help.
Finally, we received a grant for equipment and found temporary coaches to run clinics.
Our first game against City
These days, we have a full roster of 19 enthusiastic, committed, close-knit players, and two fabulous coaches. We play games against local private schools and scrimmage against City. Our team is comprised of girls who-- a few years ago-- had never played sports before or even watched a field hockey game.
We have yet to win a game, but our team empowers us as young women. We feel victorious each time we play: we learn immensely from each game, and we have so much fun doing it.
Read more about our journey here, as was highlighted on the front page of the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/high-school/bs-sp-city-poly-field-hockey-1105-20151105-story.html
And watch a TEDx talk by our founding player: https://vimeo.com/167475919
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- E. Mark Lewis
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