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Cedar Rapids student pushes for e-sports funding

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Kennedy High School student is asking the Cedar Rapids Community School District to make competitive video gaming a school-sponsored team sport.

Ethan McCord went to the May 9 CRCSD School Board meeting and argued for the value of e-sports. “On the 18th of December something big happened in Iowa. A high school student at North Linn High School was given a scholarship, but not for something that you would expect. Davenport University in Michigan granted Tyler Stanley a scholarship for competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, one of the largest games and competitive e-sports.”

McCord did not just present information; he asked for action. “I’m asking the CRCSD to consider funding e-sports programs at the high school level.” He added, “The e-sports programs at the high schools were would require a total of $64,000 for start-up equipment, in total $16,000 per school. This money would go towards quality gaming PCs, monitors, and peripherals. These programs would also need contracts with paid advisors, coaching staff, and an allotment for travel and miscellaneous expenses.”

Noreen Bush, the CRCSD Superintendent, was at the May 9 meeting. “I did not know that Ethan was showing up to the meeting and I was super delighted.” She said she called the Kennedy High School administration after the meeting to say she was proud. “I think not just me, but the entire board was filled with joy. Their hearts are filled with joy when we can hear students speak about something that they’re so passionate about.”

As for whether high school e-sports teams with funding become a reality in Cedar Rapids, Bush said, “You know, there are things that started in our district as a club, and then they’ve grown.” She added, “I always think anything is possible, especially when you have passion behind it and some support.”

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