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Indianapolis teenagers "Play for Peace" and encourage others to join

Summer in the City bball
Posted at 9:32 PM, Jun 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-17 12:55:59-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As gun violence continues to impact Indianapolis, city leaders are taking charge to get teenagers involved in summer activities.

The goal is to keep them off the streets and out of trouble.

WRTV has highlighted these events every day this week.

Friday's, are dedicated to "playing for peace."

"It's like exciting. It's fun. It keeps me out of trouble," 14-year-old Cash Daniels said.

Brothers Cash and Zade love to compete on the basketball court.

For them, shooting hoops is a way to express themselves and stay out of trouble.

"It's important for little kids and older, like myself. It just helps to stay out of trouble. It's fun," Daniels said.

"It means a lot to be honest. It's a lot of fun. We get to be here all the time. It builds relationships," 13-year-old Zade Barhan said.

The 13 and 14-year-old's will go head-to-head at Municipal Gardens gym every Friday until July 7 to "play for peace."

It's the tournament Indy Peace Fellowship hosts in an effort to keep teens off the streets, away from gun violence and build healthy relationships.

Transportation is provided.

"The key is to keep the kids out of trouble, but yet to instill them there's other ways outside of creativity. A lot don't know how to find their talent or what they are good at so we start them here," Yolanda Suggs said.

"As a mom how does it make you feel watching them," WRTV asked.

"I am a basketball mom so I love it," she said.

Suggs says summer programs are vital, but she says it's just as important for parents to be involved.

"Support your kids. Don't just send them to us. Come with them so you can watch and encourage your child to be better than what you are," Suggs said.

The players also encourage teenagers to avoid becoming a statistic of gun violence across Indianapolis.

"Stay out of trouble don't be getting in all of that. Y'all are too young for that. Stay focused," Barhan said.

Summer in the City programs continue on Monday.

Circuit training and mental health discussions are held at Mike Ford's gym.

On Tuesdays at Watkins Park, teens can learn what it takes to be a barber.

On Wednesdays, lessons in healthy, affordable soul cooking on the far east side.

On Thursdays at Brookside Park, kids are learning about the roots of hip-hop and other forms of art.

Finishing out the week, on Fridays, kids get the chance to participate in an e-sports experience at Butler University’s e-sports park.

For more information on Summer in the City or to sign up, click here.