Behind FD Moon Middle School is an empty excavated field and a concrete slab.
But Fields & Futures president Tim McLaughlin, co-owner of OKC Energy FC, sees a space full of possibilities.
This summer, the nonprofit is renovating the grounds of seven colleges, all affected by consolidations in the Oklahoma City school district.
Some of the facilities, including FD Moon, are old elementary schools reconfigured to serve grades 5 through 8. With an older age group, you need sports programs and sports facilities on site, not empty, unmarked courts.
“What we’re really passionate about is the end result of having kids on teams and putting coaches in their lives,” McLaughlin said. “They have to go to school. They have to take their notes, stay out of trouble, stay on the team. We are excited about these things.
The concrete slab behind FD Moon will become a futsal pitch, where athletes can play a compressed version of football that emphasizes footwork and ball control.
Soon, every college in the Oklahoma City district will have one, resulting from a Fields & Futures partnership with the US Soccer Foundation, Musco Lighting, 7-Eleven, and the Energy Assist Foundation. The cost of installing 10 of these “mini sites” exceeds $ 500,000, according to a press release from the partnership.
“It doesn’t matter your size, your speed, your athletic level, really,” McLaughlin told The Oklahoman. “Football is the greatest sport in the world. It is also one of the most unifying sports there is. It doesn’t matter your color, your race, your size, your age. You can play it. So we love that about the power of the game.