Local rec center holds tournament for Dr. King Day

Local rec center holds tournament for Dr. King Day
January 23
08:45 2020

While most kids were enjoying a day off from school at home, the kids at the W.R. Anderson Community Center were enjoying some competitive fun, while learning more about why they have the day off from school. The kids in the tournament are in the winter league at the center. The age groups were 8 & under and 11 & under.  

For 17 years, Bryant McCorkle, senior supervisor of W.R. Anderson, has been holding the Conquering the Mountain tournament to teach the kids about Dr. King and to give them somewhere to go, instead of sitting in the house or possibly getting into trouble.

“The reason why I started the tournament was because I wanted to do something in honor of Dr. King and then I also realized kids were out of school and I didn’t want it to be considered a day off, but instead a day on. to do something positive in the community,” said McCorkle.

During the tournament, the center held a voter registration drive, a canned food drive, offered information on census takers, as well as presentations by several speakers who spoke about the importance of Dr. King in the history of our country. According to McCorkle, the speakers touched on the current social climate, the injustices that King fought for that we are still going through today, and today’s political atmosphere.  The canned goods were given to Second Harvest Food Bank. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department sent prizes and the Winston-Salem Dash sent a mascot to the event as well.

“This was nothing political, but people need to register to vote, because people died in order for us to have the right to vote,” said McCorkle. “That’s something that Dr. King pushed, so we can’t take that for granted.”

McCorkle was happy to bring information about Dr. King to the kids at the center. He stated that it’s even more important at W.R. Anderson because before the 1960s, African Americans were not allowed at the center.

“This here is exciting, because they get to hear different speakers come in and speak about Dr. King and the trivia that they would not hear in school,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize that Dr. King spoke here in Winston-Salem in downtown.”

Emerald Bowman, Sr., special projects manager for the City of Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department, was integral in the planning for the event.  

“Even on a day when the city is closed, Bryant continues to make sure the center is open to give kids a place to play and learn about black history and to learn about the importance of coming together as a community without violence,” said Bowman. “I think with this program, we don’t have to worry about children being on the streets, because idle minds can sometimes turn into something negative.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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