BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new Olympic-style competition to get Baltimore kids moving is set to start in mid-July.

The “Charm City Games” is designed as a friendly competition for kids ages 12 to 14 as a way to engage the city’s youth.

Participants will face off in a number of games, including soccer, basketball, track and field and tennis, with the winners taking home the Charm City Cup.

Mayor Jack Young said in a news release he hopes the competition will give the city’s kids a healthy outlet for their energy

“The inaugural Charm City Games will engage our youth in positive recreational activities and help boost civic engagement by putting them in direct contact with their elected City Council representatives,” Young said.

Athletes will work with the mayor’s office and each city council district to form teams. Participants will need to attend every tryout in order to compete.

These games will span across the city. Tennis and soccer will be at Druid Hill Park, while track and field events will be held at Frederick Douglass High School.

The basketball tournament will be at two rec centers; Rita Church in east Baltimore and at CC Jackson in northwest Baltimore.

“It’s fun, something different,” Angela Dutton, a local mother, said. “They’re not getting in trouble. They’re not in school doing bad things. They’re not getting hurt going outside. They can be with people who can protect them and have fun.”

The City of Baltimore’s Rec and Parks Department has a $100,000 from its sports budget for the games, making participation free.

“We want kids outdoors enjoying our spaces, our parks, our amenities,” said Whitney Clemmons Brown of Baltimore’s Rec and Parks Department.

The opening ceremony will be held July 13 at city hall with the games taking place at various locations around the city July 14-20.

Registration is open through June 14 on the city’s website or in-person at a number of parks department recreation centers.

Paul Gessler

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