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New soccer club Naptown United supports underserved kids

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Hispanic soccer mom wants to help kids in underserved communities find new opportunities.

She started a new soccer club with the help of members of the community.

In just a matter of weeks, lives will be transformed at Frank & Judy O’Bannon Soccer Park through a new soccer club called Naptown United that’s led by Stand for Children bilingual organizer and Peruvian native, Carolina Figueroa.

Naptown United is under the umbrella of Indiana Soccer.

“We’re really concentrated on the youth in the intercity targeting our immigrant and refugee communities and our underserved communities,” President of Naptown United, Carolina Figueroa said.

The group says soccer is more than just kicking a ball, it’s about growing and making lasting friendships.

“Soccer for me is the language of the world. We may not understand each other linguistically, but if we’re able to play together, we’re able to understand the game, especially the youth, then they’re able to really learn from each other,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa says the group plans to provide transportation, interpreters, some financial support, and provide accessibility.

“You know a lot of other leagues cost $500 or $1,000 to play and that’s not durable for me. I’m not willing to do that and it’s not durable for a lot of folks,” parent Andy Beck said.

Overall, the group says it wants to uplift children in the community. “We want to make sure that we’re being inclusive to all and we’re also hoping to create that environment. When kids are in the soccer field, we want to make sure that we focus on social and emotional learning when we’re teaching kids how to work as a team,” Figueroa said.

She says that for people who want to build the soccer community in their area, either helping with pick-up soccer, futsal, or organizing a league, they can contact her at naptownunited@gmail.com.

Naptown United will have a ribbon-cutting at Frank & Judy O’Bannon Soccer Park on April 16 at 10 a.m.