StationSoccer celebrated its two year anniversary on October 27th! Since the grand opening of Five Points in 2016 StationSoccer has seen thousands of visitors both players and spectators from across the world. It has also been covered by multiple media outlets and won local, national and global awards for soccer, design and innovation.
Looking forward Soccer in the Streets is in planning mode, having just opened the newest StationSoccer location at West End MARTA station and the early success of that location we hear from three staff members about the project and program so far and what we can look forward to.
From the youth pick up side of StationSoccer, Coach Joel Apudo, has seen the session develop overtime. At the beginning of 2016 youth pick up averaged at six kids. In 2017, the league jumped to 15 kids a session. And this year the average number has risen to 35 kids at pick up sessions.
As Apudo has coached a majority of these sessions he has heard many parents compliment the program.
“As my kids play at the StationSoccer locations it has helped my kids in school,” said a StationSoccer parent. “They have gotten better grades by being focused, been more social with other kids, and I have seen my kids move from up the recreational team to the academy team.”
The Station fields recently kicked off its 8th season of public adult leagues. In the new Fall 2018 season with a record of 24 teams in a single season. StationSoccer has also hosted leagues for diverse groups including: the City of Atlanta, MARTA, local downtown businesses, restaurants, and Morehouse University Intramural’s.
StationSoccer Manager, Fernando Guerena, expresses his enthusiasm about the two year anniversary.
"Since opening the Station Soccer - Five Points facility in October 2016, over 2,000 adult players have come out to play and support Atlanta's children,” said Guerena. “These players have raised over $100,000 for Soccer in the Streets programming, and this season's leagues at the newly opened West End facility have 50% more teams than any prior season."
Sanjay Patel recently took on the role of Director of Strategic Projects at Soccer in the Streets and has been working on the the StationSoccer project since 2014 when he had originally had the idea of the concept of StationSoccer. Sanjay provides some thoughts on the past few years and potential of the project.
“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far, much credit to our staff and all the partners that have made this project possible,” said Patel. “Now as we grow the league of stations and provide more access to communities that deserve programs that can help cultivate and enrich lives with employability tools and resources it will only benefit youth that we serve. Through innovation and collaborative partnerships on and off the field we will change lives along the way.”