Take part in a football, basketball and softball game for a good cause.
Frederick Paul, II was "a broke college student at Western Michigan University" when he says he started selling his old sneakers on Ebay as a way to collect a few extra bucks. That was in 2014. Since, he's eliminated the fee-assessing middle man and realized his own resale sneaker shop, The Heat Factory. In keeping with the online store's spirit of athleticism, The Heat Factory is kicking off a summer-long charity sports array dubbed the City Champ Series. "The purpose is to encourage people to get up and actually do stuff this spring and summer instead of just sitting around (or) hanging on the block," Paul says. "Let's actually get up and get active."
The Fire Bowl is up first on Saturday, May 12 at The Mack Athletic Complex in Detroit and will pit the Detroit Defenders against The Heat Factory Flames. Player registration was open to any- and everyone. It's now closed, but cheer along the sidelines for $5. These are charity games, so when you hand over your entry fee you'll decide whether to support the Factory's scholarship essay contest or its book bag drive, for which they've partnered with Ludington Magnet Middle School.
Basketball will follow on June 30. This one will be a two-parter, featuring a three-point shooting contest – Summertime Shootout – at Quicken Loans Sports Zone in Cadillac Square Park in Detroit. After a $5 entry fee, you're free to test your skills and try for a prize – the more shots you make, the grander the swag. An actual game will follow. Registration and additional details will be available in the early part of June.
This is the first time for the series, but Paul organized a softball match last year as a "one-off thing" and it was so well received that he decided to up the ante this go-round. The Street Corner Classic softball meeting will be back on Aug. 18 at Belle Isle Athletic Field with registration opening around mid-July. He says it's "important to me just to see people do better and be more health-conscious. In our community in general, I feel like that's really lacking." He doesn't pretend to veer down from any pedestal in this regard but instead says that we can all stand to make better choices, and wonders why not start here?
"Detroit is a very competitive place. Just in general everyone kind of has a chip on their shoulder, like 'I'm from Detroit, I've kind of got something to prove.'" Paul says. "So, I'm just trying to leverage that and put it in friendly, competitive sports. I find that a lot of people do want to get up and get active, but there's not necessarily a friendly place to do that. I want to take that competitive edge that everyone has and put it in a friendly environment so we all feel good and happy to play and participate."