KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several groups in Kansas City, Missouri, are coming together to find a solution to violence through soccer.
“(It's about) Having a clear vision of how to occupy your time and sports happens to be a very unique way to help bring people together and socialize even though there are other problems that could be developing in their society," Francisco Murguia with Ollama, a coffee shop in KCMO, said.
Ollama along with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, Ryogoku Soccer Academy, and 816 SFC partnered to create a soccer festival scheduled for Saturday, June 26.
“We’re on the same page. We work here, we live here, we eat here, we’re all in this together one way or another," KCPD Officer Edwin Gordillo said.
Organizers say the idea for the soccer festival was to find a way to promote sports, team building and conflict resolution.
The anti-violence goals are seen as important in KCMO which has recorded 71 homicides so far in 2021.
“Soccer is all inclusive. You don’t need too much to play the game. And I also think that soccer is a universal language," Hector Moises Solorio, with Ryogoku Soccer Academy, said.
13 year old Abdullahi Islow is a student in the soccer academy and said he has learned how to do more than a kick a ball.
"They teach me a lot of things. Like skill moves. Like communication with the team," Islow said.
The soccer festival is Saturday, June 26th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Prospect Plaza Park.