Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Small Schools Athletic League Asks City to Keep Funding It

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The Small Schools Athletic League is asking the city to keep funding it.

The league championship game was played Friday in the Bronx.

The players wore their jerseys in reverse with black armbands to protest what they say is the city's separate and unequal high school sports system.

They're hoping this won't be the last game in league history.

"This league since [2011] has been the leader on bringing sports to the schools that have the least access, and we really, really want to continue doing what we're doing," said David Garcia-Rosen, founder of the Small Schools Athletic League. "We're in a position to continue being the leader in high school sports for the schools with the highest percentages of students of color, and it transforms lives."

"Sport keep me in school and help me to work hard. And my school work, I do it because sport make me responsible," said Nikeiris Portalatin, a student-athlete who participates in the Small Schools Athletic League. "And also, when I play sport, it feel like I'm on top of the world. I mean, you cannot imagine. It's fantastic. It's like dancing. When you dance, you feel like flow. It's like sport. I feel like flow."

City Councilman Andy King said the council and the mayor have the responsibility to keep the league going.

If it folds, about 1,700 student-athletes would be affected.

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