Tanya Wriston, teacher and tournament organizer, said the tournament has become a much anticipated annual event.
“A lot of times our schedule does not allow for recreational activities outside of PE. They do not have recess at this age anymore. This is really just a fun activity for these kids while bringing an awareness to something that has probably affected everybody,” Wriston said. “Everybody knows of someone who has been affected whether it is a parent, a friend or a neighbor.”
Incoming sixth-graders who have never participated in the tournament often hear tales from older siblings and cousins. Tournament winners in each grade level receive a pizza party and, of course, bragging rights.
This year’s winners were Jonathan Moseley’s sixth-grade class, Tonya Cawood’s seventh-grade class and Ed Fickley’s eighth-grade class.
A total of 43 teams competed in the tournament with 17 in sixth grade, 14 in seventh grade and 12 in eighth grade. Wriston estimated a total of 40 to 43 kickball games would be completed from the first whistle to the championship games. Around 1,200 students engaged in the activity through playing, scorekeeping or coaching.
All students, regardless of disability, were encouraged to participate in one way or another.
“If teams are eliminated, generally what we will do is if there is still someone in play who is of your grade level color, you are going to cheer them on, if you have already lost out of the tournament,” Wriston said.
Everyone was encouraged to give a $2 donation.
“Some will be able to give more and some will not be able to do that,” Wriston said. “We encourage students to donate at some level, whatever they can.”
An incentive is presented to every homeroom. Classes which raise $2 for each student in their class start the first game with 5 points already on the scoreboard. A lead almost ensures a team a win against another team without the advantage. It also ensures both teams that raise the money will start on a level playing field.
Wriston said a class of 30 would be asked to raise $60. Every student does not need to give $2, but the 100 percent goal must be matched to receive the points. Theoretically, one student could even provide all $60 for his or her class.
Students are reminded their donations are for a good cause.
“Cleveland City Schools has been in association with Relay for Life ...” Wriston said. “As part of the school system, each of the different schools have done various fundraisers throughout the year, then we all pool our money as one donation from Cleveland City Schools.”
Students are also reminded Kick for a Cure is a time to have fun.
“It is following TCAP testing, so it is kind of a celebration that they have completed their testing,” Wriston said. “... It is a good way for students to get out and be a part of something that is obviously bigger than themselves. It is very enjoyable.”