On Tuesday, through the Rebuild Initiative, the city of Philadelphia celebrated the opening of the first soccer mini-pitch.
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The city is working with the Philadelphia Union Foundation and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer to create more places all across the city where people get out there and play.
The brand new soccer mini-pitch opened at Francis J. Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia.
"It is critical that students, families and young people have safe spaces in their communities to recreate and play," says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "Philadelphia's recreation centers are the backbone of our neighborhoods."
Thanks to this partnership, more than $1 million will help build 15 mini soccer pitches and two full-size signature fields across the city. The goal is to increase accessibility to sports.
"To achieve this, we need to remove barriers from participation so any child can participate in soccer or any sport they wish," says Chris Branscome, the CEO of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. "We want to provide the resources to the adults to ensure that the kids get the training and the opportunity they richly deserve."
The $350,000 investment at the F.J. Myers Recreation Center also includes renovated basketball and tennis courts, and eventually a new recreation center and a sprayground.