BRIDGEPORT — For more than a year now, Chris Kinsley has been working to establish a middle school sports program in the city, starting with a track and field club he started at Blackham School, where he is a social studies teacher.
This year, he took his kids to the State Middle School Championships. A couple of the coaches pulled Kinsley aside and asked,” Are your kids going to run in those,” referring to the Converse basketball sneakers many of the kids wore. Kinsley told him that is what they had. They really didn’t have the money to buy real running shoes and with no track, basically practiced on pavement around school. A week later, he got a check for $900 in the mail with a note saying, simply: “As per our conversation, here is some money to get your kids some real running shoes. Our kids and some of the other neighboring schools got together on the bus and on the way home decided to collect money at our schools to get you guys some shoes. See you all at the Track & Field Championships in June”. That was it. No name.
Kinsley took the check and about 18 of his kids to the Athletic Shoe Factory in Fairfield. He made three trips, taking kids who come every day and had the wrong sneakers to run in. They left with Nike, Asicis and Sucouny’s.
Now Kinsley is raising money to get those kids to the championship and build up the program. He is planning a citywide track meet in May at Sacred Heart University and a Bridgeport Youth Olympics in June at Kennedy Stadium.
Calling it Bridgeport’s Field of Dreams Foundation, the fundraising effort is a recognized non-profit under the umbrella of the Bridgeport Public Education Fund. Donations in any amount will be accepted and are tax deductible. Amounts of $250 or more will help sponsor an event.
Donations should be sent to The Bridgeport Field of Dreams Foundation c/o the Bridgeport Public Education Find Inc., 446 University Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604.
In addition, Modell’s at 148 Boston Avenue, Bridgeport, is running a promotion where they will donate 5 percent of purchase made with a special coupon to the Field of Dreams Foundation through April 4.
For more information, or the coupons, contact Kinsley at Mrhawk42@aol.com