For the first time in 10 years, hundreds of Beyond Soccer players were left without a place to participate in indoor futsal & fitness last winter (2018), and we vowed to never let that happen again. In 2019, we leased 9,000 sq. ft. of indoor space at the former Malden Mills, our planned “Sports & Wellness Center” or current “Lawrence Sports HUB” (HUB), with growth potential to 70,000 ft2. Today, through initial friend ‘raising efforts, plus in-kind equipment, the space now includes a beautiful, multi-purpose playing surface, with dashers, custom netting and professional sports lines to accommodate futsal, basketball and volleyball. As our first official pilot program, we launched an evening, pickup futsal league in July 2019 at the HUB for 65 middle school youth, run entirely by our youth jobs cohort. We now have futsal programs running 3-4 days per week!
The HUB has become the second site for the Essex County Youth Futsal League, which means families, in addition to playing at the Pingree School in South Hamilton, are now coming into Lawrence to play with our kids and offset costs. This mutually beneficial relationship is another way this new space is breaking down barriers between suburban and urban communities
“We’ve never had access to a space like this.” I can’t believe the HUB is in Lawrence and for us to use. It makes me feel like someone really cares about me playing. It makes me feel proud.” – Grade 7 Lawrence Youth Travel Player