I grew up in North Carolina, where college basketball reigns supreme and March Madness is religiously followed. However while in college, I met someone who loved both our UNC basketball team as much as I did and also this soccer team that I had never heard of. I watched some of the games with Tom as we dated, but it wasn’t until we got married and I started coming to the Penya that I learned to love FC Barcelona for myself.
The passion I saw there was something I had never encountered before. The Penyistes are there for every single game, and after a while I found myself voluntarily waking up early on the weekend to watch the 10am games at Smithfield’s too! The energy there is infectious, and it’s obvious even to someone who didn’t grow up watching the game that Messi is something special! Visiting Barcelona last year where I got to learn more about the club and attend a game, as well as participating in many of the Penya events in the last three years has solidified my love for the team and this community. I hope to help the Penya continue to be an inclusive and welcoming environment where great friendships are made, new and veteran fans alike can share their passion for FC Barcelona, and we all can invest in our local community through service projects and partnerships with local charities.