Madisson Ledan Says Soccer Brought His Neighborhood Together
Madisson Ledan is a student who seeks to bring his community in Boynton Beach, FL, together. He says that starting a Soccer league has made his neighborhood feel like a family.
In Boynton Beach, FL, Madisson Ledan is known for his efforts to try to bring people together. From founding a video game club in school to his trips to help rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. Madisson Ledan has recently started a pick-up league for soccer in his neighborhood to make it feel more like a real community.
“If I am completely honest, the inspiration came from that movie, the Sandlot.” Madisson Ledan says, “I saw a group of people who had become a family through their mutual love of the sport, and I knew I wanted that. They were competitive but not part of some league where there was too much outside pressure.” Madisson Ledan goes on to say that he gathered his friends and started knocking on doors and asking around at the bus stop before school. “I have a soft spot for the idea of a found family.” Explains Madisson Ledan, “That your neighborhood, community, or even just a friend from down the block can become a family member and someone you can genuinely trust. I feel a lot of people these days don’t know the people they live around, myself included, and I want to try to change that, even if just on a small scale.”
“At first it was only a few kids playing on teams of two or three, slowly but surely though more people started to join in. Eventually, we ended up being able to have two groups of seven from just kids in the neighborhood.” Madisson Ledan says, “I don’t think I could have named any of my neighbors before we started playing, but now we are close teammates or rivals. I even know their parents now, since so many will sit and watch the games, but mostly I know which ones are bringing snacks!”
Soccer is currently the third most popular sport in America behind only basketball and football. With more than three million youth players and over six thousand youth clubs, it is no shock that Madisson Ledan was able to grow a community in his backyard in Boynton Beach, FL. U.S. Youth Soccer has more participants than Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, AYSO, and Pop Warner Football. Madisson Ledan goes on to say, “A few of us play competitive soccer either in school or leagues, but this community ‘league’ lets them play in the summer or winter when those events aren’t going on.”
Madisson Ledan on where he hopes the group will go in the future: “We are already at the point of having scheduled games, and I am hoping to get the neighborhood down the street involved eventually. I have an image in my head of neighborhood vs. neighborhood. It could be an exciting tournament; we could even make t-shirts!”