In the belly of New Community Church in downtown Spokane, far below the pews, is a field of green turf.
About 1,000 kids go to the field each month to play indoor soccer as part of joint project with the church and the 90 Plus Project. The organizations teamed up to create the facility in December to help provide more space for kids to play the sport, especially during the winter when outdoor space is unavailable.
“The big goal for New Community is to invite other non-profits and ministries to be a part of the building, we’re inviting other non-profits to be a part of caring for downtown Spokane and the city,” said Brooke Grissom, a bookkeeper and in charge of communications at New Community. “90 Plus is a renter of ours and we saw it as a really cool opportunity for them to reach more people and to meet a need and expand the work that they’re doing.”
She added that 90 Plus played a major role in making the facility with the church supporting the organization throughout it.
“There’s limited in-door space available in town, specifically limited for under-resourced youth,” said Russ Davis, co-founder of the 90 Plus Project. “So the ability to have winter in-door space, kids to play soccer, to be active, to engage in after-school activities, to do all that stuff there’s limited space in town and so we felt like it was a great opportunity to partner with the community and provide a community good.”
New Community is located at 518 W. Third Ave.
Davis said the facility provides resources to help kids with after-school programs and that soccer clubs in town rent out the space.
To those who rent out the space, Davis said they sign-up online and are given access to the building to use the facility.
Before it was a soccer facility, Davis said that the space was a run-down gymnasium.
“It [the gym] had a tiled floor that was kind of crumbling,” Davis said. “And so, we were able to raise money for it [soccer facility], bought supplies, a lot of manual labor and the next thing you know we got a brand-new turf facility.”
He said the facility, which took around a month to build, has reinforced walls, full-sized indoor goals and access to restrooms.
Funding for the facility — $30,000 — came from donors and sponsors, including Dutch Bros. Coffee.
In the facility, Davis said 4v4, 5v5 and 6v6 soccer games can be played, depending on age.
Besides providing space for soccer to be played in the city, Davis said that the facility is a community asset that 90 Plus and New Community can offer to the city and it enables and funds 90 Plus to work with under-resourced youth.
“It’s [soccer facility] has gotten a lot more people in our building,” Grissom said. “It’s [the church] really big, it’s right in the center of downtown and there’s no point in us just having church on Sunday and then leaving the building empty and so it’s exciting to see it benefitting people and being used for good causes and for kids to enjoy soccer.”
Based on her understanding of the facility’s purpose, Grissom said that 90 Plus’s goal is to make soccer accessible to all kids regardless of their life, socio-economic status and background.
“Being able to play indoor in Spokane means that during the winter months and colder months soccer is available,” Grissom said. “And a lot of times that’s a pretty high class to have an indoor field. . .it’s [soccer facility] continuing to make it [soccer] accessible to groups of people and hopefully to other teams too.”
Information on renting the soccer facility can be found on the 90 Plus Project website.
“It’s [soccer facility] available to anyone who would like to rent it out, and that it’s meeting its goal,” Davis said. “We built it for the purpose that it’s fulfilling, and it’s been incredible.”
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