MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A local financial advisor was awarded $45,000 for his work with the non-profit Memphis Inner City Rugby.
Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR) aims to provide athletic and academic opportunities for kids in low-income neighborhoods across the Bluff City.
The hard work has paid off on the field with several state and national rugby titles, but off the field MICR coaches, advisors and board members and advisors are working just as hard to grow the organization.
"In 2019, Memphis Inner City Rugby is serving probably over 300 kids throughout South to North Memphis,” said MICR Advisor Michael Deutsch.
Deutsch is the Vice President of United Capital Financial, and when he's not at work, he's busy investing into the lives of kids with Memphis Inner City Rugby
Last month, Deutsch was honored in Boston with an award from the “Invest in Others Charitable Foundation.” – bringing home a $45,000 prize!
"We're bringing notoriety to our city, but in addition to that we're bringing into our city to invest into our kids."
Deutsch says those funds will go toward growing the program as they build off the success of the past seven years.
Including providing kids with collegiate rugby opportunities, and being featured in a national Nike Campaign, a spread in Men’s Health Magazine.
In April MICR announced one of its athletes Carlicia Beam received a full scholarship to play rugby at Dartmouth College, an Ivy League School in New Hampshire.
“When Carlicia Beam at Dartmouth College played Brown, and then we get a communication at Brown saying, ‘ Hey she’s amazing! Do you have other kids?’ That’s what’s encouraging to us because we can hopefully send thousands of students from Memphis into college from this opportunity," said Deutsch.
MICR has since seen several other athletes go on to play collegiate rugby, and hopes to build a rugby complex in Memphis where its middle and high school athletes can play, practice and continue to grow their craft.
“What I’ve been most surprised in and pleased with is just how the kids have just taken off with the sport. I mean the sport really didn’t exist in Memphis until about a decade ago so to see these young kids in South Memphis go from not knowing a sport at all to four years later winning state championships and winning college scholarships," said Deutsch.
To learn more about Memphis Inner City Rugby, click here.