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Third Annual Mayor’s International Futsal Cup to take place at Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS, AUG. 9, 2017 — The third annual occurrence of the Mayor’s International Futsal Cup, hosted by Indiana Futsal, will take place Saturday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 4 at the state capitol building’s parking lot, located downtown at 201 N. Capitol St.

This adult futsal tournament features over 40 teams representing 32 different countries and is one of the largest futsal tournaments in the United States. Teams play three games in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group will move on to a single-elimination tournament.

“Seeing members of the Indianapolis community from thirty-two countries compete together is incredible. Our staff, as well as our partners and sponsors, come together each year to make this event as fun and inclusive as possible. We’re very proud of how it’s grown,” says Justin Becht, director of Indiana Futsal.

The tournament will have locally-owned food trucks with flavors representative of some of the teams’ countries. New to this year’s event will be the Sun King Lounge where attendees can enjoy a locally-crafted micro-brew while watching the action.

This event is free and open to the public. The Mayor’s International Futsal Cup is made possible in part by partnerships with Indy Eleven, Downtown Indy and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office.

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Futsal is a version of soccer played on a hard surface with a smaller, heavier ball and teams of five-a-side. This format of play emphasizes ball control and skillful technique as players have a smaller space to utilize.

About Indiana Futsal: Indiana Futsal is organized to provide nonprofit, public, educational futsal development and competition. Through tournaments, leagues, camps, free play, and other futsal events, Indiana Futsal will grow its membership across both youth and adult age groups.

 

Press release originally written by Marissa Smith for Indiana Futsal.

 

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Indiana Futsal unveils ‘Goals for Indy’ program

Indiana Futsal is pleased to announce the new Goals for Indy program, which creates steel futsal goals for public courts in Central Indiana and is a partnership among several Indianapolis businesses. The goals are sourced, constructed, and finished here locally in Indianapolis.

“Part of our mission is to provide access to the game in underserved communities,” explains Indiana Futsal Director Justin Becht, “This program allows us to secure partnerships with local, family-owned organizations and nonprofits to help lower those costs and provide safe equipment.”

The raw materials are purchased from Warner Steel, a local and family owned metal supplier, by Indiana Futsal and put together by a welding cohort within RUCKUS.

RUCKUS Makerspace and Recycle Force, both CCIC tenants, have partnered up to create a hands on 10 week 40 hr Intro to welding program. A Certified Welding Inspector works closely with students to help support, educate and empower Recycle Force participants. The cohort focuses on elements of fabrication, team building, preparing for potential jobs and set personal goals.

Upon completion of the goals, they will be taken to Cunningham Quality Painting, a local and family owned powder coating facility, to be finished with a durable UV protected powder coat. They will be stored while a site for a new public court is chosen and then installed.

The first goals to be put together were on display inside RUCKUS Makerspace on Aug. 4, where the staff spent the evening having fun and sharing the sport of futsal with First Friday attendees.

Interested in bringing futsal to your community or sponsoring the Goals for Indy program? Contact Justin Becht at justin@indianafutsal.org or 317.975.2012.

 

Article originally written and published for Indiana Futsal.

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Street Team Intern: Weeks 7-13

My official time as an intern at the Indiana State Museum is over now. As I mentioned in my Instagram post on my last day, it was great experience! I spent the summer meeting new people in my industry and getting an inside look at what having a ‘real’ job is like.

I am very proud of the work I did at the museum, and have received praises from both of my supervisors to the point where I have been asked to continue coming to the museum as a volunteer to assist with their marketing efforts.

My favorite part of being at the museum was the sense of appreciation and welcoming I felt from the staff I interacted with. They of course are used to meeting new interns every semester, with a constant flow of us college kids coming in and out. It would have been very easy for the staff to brush me off, give me a simple ‘hello’ and otherwise ignore my existence. Instead, they happily introduced themselves, shook my hand, and continued to speak kindly with me at each passing.

Throughout the summer I generated social media content, wrote media tracking reports, pitched stories to the press, and wrote press releases. All of these things are important to my future career and practicing these PR tactics helped me grow more confident in myself and my abilities.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to work with the museum in the future!

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Finding Futsal, an athletic outlet for inmates at Marion Co. Jail

Over the past several years, it has become increasingly common for correctional facilities to provide sports recreation for their inmates as a potential diversion from illicit activities. A 2012 report from the Prisoners’ Education Trust, even states that becoming actively involved in a sports league during detention can foster “an alternative social network, access to positive role models, improved employability, and develop a pro-social identity.”

The practice of encouraging sports in correctional facilities can be found locally, at the Marion County Jail, which has provided a basketball court for those seeking physical activity. The jail, which is part of four-facility system that houses over 2,500 inmates, noticed a recent decline in interest in basketball from its inmates but an interesting innovation on their parts: deflating the facility basketball and kicking it around in makeshift games of soccer.

Major Tanesha Crear began reaching out to local soccer organizations and brought the idea to her supervisor. The Public Information Officer for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Katie Carlson, connected with Indiana Futsal. As a game that requires less space than soccer and can be played indoors, futsal seemed like a natural fit.

Due to one Deputy’s thoughtfulness and a collaboration among Indianapolis community members, Indiana Futsal was able to donate two inflatable futsal goals, futsal balls, and an air pump to the Marion County Jail in June, giving inmates the athletic outlet they really needed.

Justin Becht, Director of Indiana Futsal, says that the new set-up will be especially beneficial for the younger inmates, “There’s a need for incarcerated youth to be able to play and to release some tension, we were happy to help with that. A large part of Indiana Futsal’s mission is to bring the sport to populations that really need it.” Representatives from the jail also added that while physical activity helps people while inside, it is also encouraged for inmates preparing for re-entry as a way to bond with their families once they’ve left the facility.

As a result of the community connection made between the two organizations this summer, Indiana Futsal will partner with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for the Mayor’s International Futsal Cup later this year.

Click here to view the article as it was originally published.

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Student commencement speaker Amber Kriech discusses her path before and after graduation

Click here to read my most recently published article, where I had the opportunity to chat with IUPUI’s 2017 commencement speaker, Amber. It was an enlightening interview for me as an ambitious young professional and future graduate!

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Dear alumni, you are an inspiration

In the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to speak with some members of IUPUI’s class of 2016. One of those interviews formed the basis for my article Catching Up with a Recent IUPUI Grad, and was particularly inspirational for me. As you’ll know if you peruse the article all the way to the end, the graduate has met her goals and, I know from speaking with her, she is very happy about where her life is at one year after graduating college.

Why is this important? 

Graduating college feels like I’m about to be tipped unceremoniously out of wheelbarrow from the top of a cliff with a very small landing pad at the bottom and I’m expected to make it on my own after years of people guiding me.

We, as students, all have our doubts about what’s going to happen when we get that magic piece of paper that cost us years of time and thousands of dollars to obtain. My fears will likely not have truly set in until next fall, when I will be starting my senior year at IUPUI (woohoo!?!), but they do creep up on me sometimes and that dropping-from-a-cliff feeling seems very real.

Graduating high school was not nearly as unnerving; I had a path laid out before me, in the form of a college acceptance letter and some scholarships, so it was not difficult to figure where to go and what to do. Also, I’ve always been pretty good at and enjoyed school, so I was not very concerned about the academic aspect of it. The post-graduation path for me this time is little more than a thin line, and though I’ve never been drunk, I feel that it’d be very easy to misstep and lose my balance.File_000

Which is why, as a future graduate, it means a lot to me to speak with alumni from my university, and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to do so and to put the happiness of said students into words to be published, so that other students may feel the same temporary relief as I have upon reading Grace Perkowitz’s words. So keep being brave and adulting, alumni, and please don’t be shy about sharing your stories with current students (even the bad parts!). We all could use a little bit of reassurance, so if you’ve got the time, go ahead and let us know what you’ve been through, because we’re all just shaking in our young adult boots.

 

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Street Team Intern: Weeks 5-6

I am now over a month into my internship with the Indiana State Museum, and every day that I am here I find new ways to appreciate the museum and further confidence in having chose public relations as part of my career path.

Though I have come across some challenges, particularly trying to rack my brain to generate social media content, I look forward to most of the tasks I’m given. I’ve probably now roamed the museums exhibitions ten times all the way through, either as a nice stroll on my lunch break or searching for some new angle to take a nice photo. It’s truly a unique experience to have the privilege to do so.

People continuously ask me how it’s going, and they never seem satisfied with my solid “good” reply. Everyone wants details, but at the end of a 9-5 day it’s honestly hard for me to go back and pick out details quickly. I always need a moment to decompress, because a lot goes on, but not all of it is as interesting to others as it is to me.

As for the social media content I mentioned before, several posts I have drafted have now been published online on all three main platforms for the museum: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’m very pleased with the work I’ve been able to do and the feedback I’ve been given so far.

This weekend I will be attending my first actual Street Team event by going with my coworkers to the Fishers Freedom Festival. Though I know absolutely nothing about what the festival entails or what is to be expected of a museum running a booth there, I’m doing my best to look forward to it and be confident rather than nervous. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Update: Though spending the majority of my Saturday sitting at a table in Fishers, IN was never at the top of the list for cool weekend plans, it went considerably well. It was interesting to observe the people of Fishers at an annual event for the community, and the food I had on break (a gyro) was delicious. The weather was pleasantly cool and breezy, which posed a problem for some vendors with large signs that wanted to blow over, but we had no such issues. It had been a while since I’d really had to use my sales pitch voice, and I think I did well! I am glad, however, that I will not be spending another Saturday away from home.

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Street Team Intern: Weeks 2-4

As promised, here is an update on the work I’ve been doing with the Indiana State Museum:

In the past few weeks, I have updated the media contact lists for all eleven state historic sites in an effort to ensure that all press releases are sent to relevant media outlets, reporters and news directors. This means I have spent time sweeping the internet for information on radio stations, television stations and newspapers. While it’s mentally draining to sit and stare at a Word document full of names for hours at a time, it’s a necessary evil that I’m happy to do.

Having updated the lists, this past week I accomplished two different tasks which were a bit more fun and creative: writing a media pitch and drafting every museum tweet for the upcoming MuseumWeek. Not only would some of my words be sent to every media contact for the state historic sites (it’s a lot of people, trust me) but also potentially be seen by the museum’s 19,800 Twitter followers (@indianamuseum). To a PR geek like me, that’s a big deal!

See the media pitch content here. Updates on the tweets will come once they are officially posted later in June.

As always, I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to work somewhere that’s letting me hone my skills and also teaching me what a positive work environment can look like and do for its employees. I will do my best to continue to keep my blog updated, but be forewarned that this summer is flying by fast and it’s hard for me to keep track of it!

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Street Team Intern: Week One

The nerves are gone!

Having completed my first ‘week’ as an intern for the Indiana State Museum, I thought I would do a little bit of a recap for me to look back on at the end of the summer.

My first two days at the museum included the most welcoming environment I think I’ve ever experienced when starting a new position. My supervisor led me around to meet everyone in the office and though I am not anyone they care about, they all stopped their work for a moment to welcome me and shake my hand (I really need to work on my handshake). From the people to the office itself, I couldn’t help but feel like this is exactly the type of place where I should be starting my career and I am so incredibly fortunate to be doing so.

I spent most of the day doing data entry, updating the state historic site’s media contacts. While my fingers did start to cramp from typing and the afternoon lull of an office shift did hit me pretty hard, I finished out the day excited to see what Tuesday held for me.

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Content generated from my midday walk. Follow us @indianamuseum!

The next day, I felt more at home in the space and less jittery, where as on the first day I kept feeling like I could make a mistake and they could fire me at any moment. I spent some time talking to my second supervisor, who oversees the social media accounts for both the museum and all 11 state historic sites (no wonder they needed help!) I toured the museum twice, taking photos once when it was full of children and other visitors, and once when it was empty.

The freedom to roam the empty museum created a unique concoction of feelings in me, as the eeriness of a quiet museum was almost haunting but the privilege of being there made me feel, in a way, powerful. People don’t question you if you’ve got a branded ID badge!

The main takeaways from my first week are that I’m so excited to see what other career-enhancing opportunities this position brings to me, and also that working 9-5 (cue the Dolly Parton track) is going to be a pretty big adjustment for me. I’m going to do my best to keep this blog updated with my museum adventures, so stay tuned!

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“Do you still like living in Indy?” 

My girlfriend, Chelsea, & I at one of the four First Friday events we attended tonight downtown.
When I made the move from Small Town, Indiana to Indianapolis in the summer of 2015, I had a lot of adjustments to make, but I was excited to see what changes living in a city would bring for me. I’ll admit, I have not been the most adventurous resident, but two years later I know pretty well how to navigate Indy and have spent quite a lot of time exploring its various communities. 

Though I was eager to life in a more urban setting, it’s something that many people where I am from do not understand. A type of question I commonly get to this day is – “do you still like living there?” or “how do you like living in Indy?” 

These queries almost always come from people who care about my well-being and are genuinely just checking in. While I do find it strange and a little bit funny that they’ve continued to ask this time and again, I appreciate the concern. Certain people, however, have been known to ask this question with a hopeful glint in their eye and a sheepish tone which implies they want me to answer negatively. 

Nope, I hate it there. Worst decision I ever made, you were right when you warned me about it! 

I’ll admit, all too often, I give into this. I’ve caught myself brushing off the question or searching my brain for something cynical to say, in order to not disappoint someone I care about (Marissa, you’ve gotta stop doing that). The reality of it is though, that I love living in Indianapolis. 

Sure, it has its flaws (and crimes), but I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here, living. There are cool events to go to, amazing restaurants to try, and wonderful people to meet.

 I’ve been here two years and I know I am just getting started on taking advantage of everything this city has to offer. I’m definitely going to be here at least two more years, and I’m so excited to see what else this city has that I haven’t been brave enough to discover yet! 

So, the answer to your question, no matter how much I might hesitate when you ask me (I am going to work on not giving into that pressure) is YES. I love this city, and I could never ever go back to living in Middle of Nowhere, Indiana.