06/16/17 — Freedom Family Fun Day to be held at Fairview Park

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Freedom Family Fun Day to be held at Fairview Park

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on June 16, 2017 7:37 AM

Food and sports are two reliable ways to bring a community together.

Saturday's Freedom Family Fun Day at Fairview Park promises to have plenty of both.

Organized by Dillard Academy after-school coach Uhuru Ulyesse, the event will feature a three-on-three basketball tournament, a kickball tournament and a soccer tournament. All three are open to individuals and full teams. Ulyesse said he hopes to see people who have never met come together in the spirit of competition.

"I want to see people say 'I've never seen you before,' but since they're out there competing, they work together," he said.

Providing something to keep kids occupied is the first step towards solving the violence which has plagued the Goldsboro community recently, he said.

"We need something to keep kids off the street, because you see what people are doing out there right now," he said. "We need to free ourselves from this negativity."

Teams who want to participate in tournaments can sign up by contacting Ulyesse at 919-648-5796. There is no charge to sign up and play, which Ulyesse said is an intentional choice to make the event more accessible.

"I (wouldn't) want anybody to have to pay anything to come play," he said. "I want people to come out and play with their kids, don't just drop them off and leave."

The event will also feature food vendors, including the Cooling Breeze Italian Ice truck. Ulyesse said he hopes for vendors to help contribute to the cost of hiring referees, at least for the main games.

Otherwise, Ulyesse hopes to get members of the community to join him in refereeing the games.

Ulyesse himself pays for most of the equipment used at his events. This year, he will purchase whistles, balloons, stop watches and tournament prizes himself, the cost of which adds up quickly.

As a result, any donations are appreciated, he said, as more money means more resources for kids in the community.

"All of the money goes to the kids," he said. "I do this as a volunteer, I don't get paid for it."

Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can do so by calling Ulyesse.

Without having to worry about money, people are free to come and watch the games. Ulyesse, who has also organized the Hoops with Troops basketball tournament in the last two years, said he hopes to get people off the street and working together.

"We've just got a bunch of kids with too much time on their hands, going out and killing each other," he said. "We need to network, talk to each other, and figure out ways to save this city."