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Ever heard of futsal? A new court just opened at Sylvan Middle School

A new futsal court is now open at Sylvan Middle School in Citrus Heights. // S. Williams

By Sara Beth Williams–
Several prominent community partners attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand new futsal court on Monday at Sylvan Middle School.

Those in attendance included representatives from Kellogg’s Mission Tiger, which funded the court’s construction, Sacramento Republic FC, San Juan Unified School District Superintendent Melissa Bassanelli and Citrus Heights Councilmember Porsche Middleton. To celebrate the ribbon cutting, a Tony the Tiger mascot made an appearance during the ceremony to play futsal with several students.

“I hope that this becomes what schools look like moving forward,” Sacramento Republic FC Director of Community Investment Kevin Burdick said during the ceremony, adding that the new court marks the 12th futsal project developed by Sacramento Republic FC and is the first to be constructed at a middle school.

According to a press release from the school district’s Communications Specialist Elysse Fresquez, construction of the court comes courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC and Kellogg Foundation Mission Tiger grant funding, and is the first to be installed in the district.

“This ribbon cutting signifies a milestone for Sylvan Middle School, as they have been working to develop stronger community ties at their recently renovated school,” Fresquez stated in the press release. “With the installation of a new futsal court, Sylvan Middle School hopes to open the field for more community events, futsal games and celebrations.”

Sylvan Middle School Principal Nicole Latimer said during the ceremony that the middle school was “honored and incredibly excited” to be selected as the location for a new futsal court.

Superintendent Bassanelli echoed Latimer in an interview with The Sentinel, saying she was excited and adding that the district looks forward to expanding the partnership in order to bring more futsal courts to other schools in the district.

According to the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), Futsal is the International Association Football Federation (FIFA)-recognized form of indoor-outdoor football (soccer) played between two five-player teams. The ball is harder and smaller than a normal soccer ball with less bounce. Futsal is played on a hard surface, the court has no walls like in indoor soccer, and regulation dimensions for futsal courts are larger than those of an indoor soccer pitch, according to Senda Athletics.

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