The Fort Wayne’s Parks and Recreation Department premiered the new Beasley Futsal Courts Thursday afternoon. The courts are named after professional soccer player and Fort Wayne-native DaMarcus Beasley.
The soccer-like game of futsal has roots in South America. It’s gaining in popularity, especially in urban areas, because it can be played in limited spaces.
The Beasley Outdoor Futsal courts are located in Packard Park. The project stems from a partnership between Indiana Soccer, the City of Fort Wayne, Homestead High School boys soccer team and DeMarcus Beasley.
Beasley grew up playing for Fort Wayne United Soccer Club. He’s played professional soccer for almost 20 years, and is the only American soccer player to play in four World Cups. He hopes the courts will encourage more children to play soccer.
“Hopefully one or two kids fall in love with game, that have never played soccer before. That’s something that I would love to hear 30 years from now, that they grew up playing on this court,” said Beasley.
After a Kickstarter campaign, Homestead High School boys soccer team raised the initial $10,000 for the project. Rocco Zirille is a junior at Homestead High School and was happy to get involved.
“My dad and I just had an idea and we really thought it was a cool idea and everyone would like it. So we made a call to the mayor and talked to him and it was history from there basically,” Zirille said. “We just kept going on, kept getting people involved, kept checking in on the project it was a lot of fun.”
Chuck Reddinger is the Deputy Director of Recreation for the Parks Department. He says the new courts are a great product many kids will be able to enjoy. And, unlike a soccer field, the new courts are easier to take care of.
“With a court like this. (there’s) very little maintenance. Just periodically check in on it. We look forward to this court to be here for at least five to 10years before it needs any resurfacing on it,” said Reddinger.
The Parks Department plans to partner with the Beasley Soccer School along with Fort Wayne UNITED and Homestead High school to offer free futsal clinics for local children.