Getting their kicks

Playworks Michigan and Stay & Play Social Club to host Kicks for Kids kickball tournament

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 7, 2015

 Jason Bartek, of Royal Oak, pitches May 2 at Rosie’s Park in Madison Heights during a Stay & Play Social Club kickball game. ABOVE

Jason Bartek, of Royal Oak, pitches May 2 at Rosie’s Park in Madison Heights during a Stay & Play Social Club kickball game. ABOVE

Photos by Erin Sanchez

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SOUTHFIELD — Two local organizations are inviting metro Detroit residents to relive their playground dreams through an all-day kickball tournament to benefit children throughout the state.

Playworks Michigan, a nonprofit focused on the power of play for children, will team up with the Stay & Play Social Club Detroit, a social and networking group for people ages 21 and older, for the tournament May 9 at Inglenook Park, 20901 12 Mile Road.

Sixteen teams will take the field to play a minimum of three games each during the tournament. Team members will be provided lunch, T-shirts and prizes for $450 per team. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Playworks Michigan.

“We are partnered up with 16 low-income elementary schools, and we promote the health and well-being of children for safe and inclusive physical activity and play,” said Playworks Executive Director Angela Rogensues.

Rogensues said the organization uses games and play to promote social skills and to help children develop life skills and emotional learning. Playworks subsidizes a portion of the cost for schools to provide physical activity and play, and the fundraiser will benefit those efforts, she said.

Stay & Play Social Club offers a coed kickball league that pops up at various parks around metro Detroit in the spring and summer, along with softball, bowling, basketball and many other sports.

Stephanie Puertas, of Stay & Play Social Club, said the organization has similar values to that of Playworks Michigan.

“(Playworks) does for kids what we do for adults: provide recess, provide the chance to play,” Puertas said. “Several schools don’t have that option right now.”

While Stay & Play Social Club is all about having fun, it’s also about building relationships, Puertas explained.

“When you leave college or high school, you don’t always want to be just with your work friends,” she said. “In my situation, once my friends got married, I needed to find new friends.”

After their games, club members also have the opportunity to meet up at a sponsor bar for discounted food and drinks, and to keep building their relationships. Sometimes, Puertas said, those relationships can transform into holy matrimony.

“I’ve gone to six or eight weddings,” Puertas said. “I love seeing couples that get together, and the next thing you know, they’re married and have kids.”

For more information or to sign up for the tournament, visit spscdetroit.com.

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