Portland Timbers help unveil new futsal courts in Rockwood neigh - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Timbers help unveil new futsal courts in Rockwood neighborhood

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An exciting day for some local kids, thanks to the Portland Timbers. They helped unveil new futsal courts in the Rockwood neighborhood.

The courts have a cool story behind them.

A man living in the neighborhood, who became an intern for the Gresham City Hall, had the idea to build the courts on an abandoned roller rink, with some help from the Timbers. His dream became a reality.

The courts can be found at Vance Park off of SE 182nd Ave. 

For those who don't know what futsal is, it's soccer played on a smaller field with fewer players.

Timber Joey was on hand for Tuesday's ceremony, as well as players Liam Ridgewell and Diego Valeri.

The project is called SNAKE Court. SNAKE is an acronym for Sports, Neighborhood, Action, Knowledge and Empowerment.

Community leaders hope the news courts will encourage local kids to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

This is the first project for Fields For All and cost $100,000. Fields For All is a collaboration between the Operation Pitch Invasion and the Portland Timbers Stand Together Initiative.

Fields For All targets communities in need of more recreational activities for kids and brings them safe, healthy and high-quality playing surfaces.

The man with the initial idea, Ricki Ruiz, said he can't wait to see the kids out playing on the courts.

"I really want to have the Rockwood community, the City of Gresham, anybody who's a futsal fanatic to come out and play," said Ruiz.

"It's somewhere safe that they can come to and come and kick around a bit of football and enjoy themselves so it's a real pleasure to be out here today," said Liam Ridgewell.

To celebrate the opening, there was an open tournament Tuesday afternoon for young futsal fans.

The organizers said they hope to get more of these futsal courts up around town in the near future.

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