(COLUMBIA, MO) – The Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF) announced today a grant for esports gaming rooms at both Battle High School and Rock Bridge High School.
The Foundation’s board of directors announced the $36,956 grant at Rock Bridge High School’s Media Center, where the Rock Bridge and Battle teams gathered for a team scrimmage competition. This was the first time the two teams played each other in a scrimmage, a 3 vs. 3 contest in Rocket League.
In 2019, the Foundation provided a grant to establish an esports room at Hickman High School. The esports team at Hickman continues to grow and build success, including the first CPS student to receive an esports scholarship in 2022. Now, by establishing esports rooms at Battle and Rock Bridge, the Foundation can provide an equitable gaming facility across the three high schools to enhance the student experience. The grant provides $18,478 for a room at each school, including gaming computers, gaming chairs and any infrastructure needed to upgrade electrical and equipment.
“We were excited to provide the first esports room at Hickman with our initial grant in 2019,” said Katie Harris, CPSF executive director. “The esports team at Hickman has done so well, and esports is growing so tremendously, that the board was eager to provide a similar experience for students at Battle and Rock Bridge.”
Each school currently has about 100-150 students participating in E-Sports, with participation continuing to grow. The schools sponsor two official teams for competition, League of Legends and Overwatch.
“Esports continues to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The sport draws a diverse group of students together to engage in an activity they love in common,” said David Egan, CPS Athletic Director. “We are grateful for the continued support of the CPSF as we establish gaming lounges at Battle and Rock Bridge to continue enhancing and enriching the gaming experience of participating students.”
The Columbia Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation established in 1996 by community volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of public education through community giving. The Foundation has funded projects in every school, allocating more than $1.6 million to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF has supported teachers and students for 27 years.