BeMore Athletic League - "Be more than just an athlete"
The BeMore Athletic League (BAL) provides quality, safe and positive interscholastic competition for over 400 middle grade students in Baltimore City. The league provides school leaders (executive directors, principals, athletic directors) the opportunity to provide interscholastic sports at their school at minimal cost and time to their teachers and coaches. Currently, BeMore Athletic League connects 15 schools through soccer, flag football, basketball, track & field and lacrosse.
Background: Currently, 38% of Baltimore City Middle Schools do not offer consistent after school sports and close to 50% do not offer more than one after school sport option.
After school sports offer many positives for the students in Baltimore City:
- Fight obesity and related illnesses. 30% of K-8 children in public schools are over-weight and at risk of developing illnesses that will prevent them from living a full healthy life (Whiffen, 2009). Increased physical activity can help students reach and maintain healthy lifestyles.
- Improve academic performance. Research has shown that physical exercise and involvement on sports teams has a positive effect on children's ability to do better in school.
- Boost attendance and reduce truancy. After school sports reduces the rate of absenteeism. Furthermore, students who are involved in fun, safe, after-school programming miss less days and have higher grade point averages than their peers.