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National home-school tourney to draw 1,000 athletes

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Springfield will host about 1,000 athletes from across the country for the National Christian HomeSchool Fall Championships from Oct. 28 through Oct. 30 at Missouri State University.

The championships will be held in several venues, including courts at Baptist Bible College and Central Bible College, as well as the Republic and Ozark community centers and Springfield city gyms - O'Reilly Tefft Gym and Chesterfield Family Center.

The tournament, which was developed to provide an athletic and social environment for home-schooled kids, was organized in 1991 and will be held in Springfield for a third consecutive year in March 2011 for its spring championships.

Kurt Talbott, fall and spring tournament director, said Springfield’s central U.S. location makes it the ideal destination for the three-day competition.

“In the past when it was in Oklahoma, there were several Texas teams that probably made up close to a third of the tournament,” he said. “As home schooling has grown over the years, now it’s getting more balanced around the country.”

Talbott said the tournament is not only beneficial to the athletes, but also to the Springfield community, which gets an economic boost from the increased traffic the competition brings to the city.

“By being able to fill up 7000-plus hotel nights a week, we feel like (the community has) benefited from that,” said Talbott, who currently lives in Oklahoma City, Okla. “Plus, eating out, gas stations, the malls, all those things we feel have benefited.”

Talbott said the National Christian HomeSchool Fall Championships have received valuable support and promotion from Springfield businesses, such as Incredible Pizza, Andy’s Frozen Custard and Bass Pro Shops.

“Some of those bigger companies have been very good to help out, to help promote it and help people feel welcome when they come to Springfield,” he said.

Talbott said he became involved with the National Christian HomeSchool Championships to provide an opportunity for his home schooled son to build relationships with other students.

“Once you’ve been to the tournament, you see that you’re not out there by yourself,” he said. “We’re starting to see kids play at the very highest levels in college that are home-schooled kids.”[[In-content Ad]]

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