Soccer in the Streets announces the expansion of the new Station Soccer- West End. Since opening in October 2016, Station Soccer - MARTA Five Points has hosted more than 2,000 soccer players from Metro Atlanta, as well as the United States, and the world. These players represent every creed and color, united by a common love for soccer.
Community engagement is a key component to these Station Soccer fields. The new, public fields have brought with them a fresh excitement to the Five Points and West End areas by providing an easy way to play soccer. The West End Station has been especially successful in bringing a community together through soccer and it continues to grow.
The Community Program Manager at Soccer in the Streets, Toussaint McClure, emphasizes that Station Soccer will highly impact the West End community.
“Cultural exposure is an extremely important piece to community engagement,” he said. “The West End Station is an important addition to the community because it provides kids and adults an easy access space to play soccer. The people who participate in the programs and events at the station will benefit both on and off the field because they get a chance to connect with people from within the community along with people from different communities.”
As the community grows through soccer in the West End area, parents of participants are also influenced. Soccer in the Street parent, Rinah Gardner, shared her thoughts on the program.
“This organization is very welcoming to my kids and I couldn’t be happier to have them involved with the coaches,” she said. “It has benefitted my kids because the sport was new to them which allowed them to grow into a sport that they now love.”
Soccer in the Streets has a vision that all children have the opportunity to succeed. This vision levels the playing field for all, affording access to the sport regardless of race, gender, religion, or socio-economic status. As the youth players grow through the community program, the Station Field provides them with another way to access the beautiful game at no cost.
The goal is to grow throughout the community in a positive way. Specifically by engaging the community together through sport.
A fellow member of the West End Community, Ehlahd Israel, works closely with the youth players and has seen the players, as well as the community, grow. He reflects on the program with sincere positivity.
“Once the community sees the initiatives are open to the public and their kids can come in receive training for free, just like at the Five Points MARTA Field. The community will think highly of it,” said Israel.
The excitement for the new Station Soccer- West End Field is nothing short of amazing. Israel has been in the West End for years now and enjoys the soccer buzz that Atlanta is now beginning to possess.
“The progress of the sport in the community and especially with the Atlanta United MLS team up the street gives the community ‘hope’. Introducing them to soccer gives a necessary platform to help these kids grow,” said Israel.