The unveiling took place at the official launch of the Atlanta United Foundation
ATLANTA (Oct. 27, 2016) - Soccer in the Streets, Atlanta United and MARTA today unveiled ‘Station Soccer – Five Points’, a project to help develop grassroots soccer and provide life skills programs to Atlanta's underserved urban communities. The project represents the first soccer field inside the perimeter of a transit station in the world.
Digital assets from the event found here.
The unveiling of Station Soccer took place at the official launch of the Atlanta United Foundation (AUF), which strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the State of Georgia. The Foundation’s first two grants enabled Soccer in the Streets to bring the beautiful game to the MARTA system, as well as to initiate soccer programs with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) in communities on the westside.
"Our MARTA Five Points project represents an opportunity for our youth to engage in programs where transportation may have been a limiting factor,” said Lauren Desmond, Soccer in the Streets’ Director of Coaching and Education. Desmond is also delighted with the program expansion: “thanks to the AUF, we have already implemented an after-school soccer program in six APS elementary schools that has served 240 children. The support of the AUF, APS, and local families are key factors in building a soccer culture on the west side.”
Soccer in the Streets hopes the new field becomes a flagship for urban soccer, especially since the organization is planning to replicate what has been done at Five Points inside or near ten other metro stations. “By building a network of communities around transit we are integrating youth and adults whilst we grow the soccer culture and giving access to all.” said Soccer in the Streets’ board member Sanjay Patel. “We do hope to make the vision of a league of stations become a reality”.
Renderings of Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station found here.
Soccer in the Streets will administer programming at Station Soccer, placing emphasis on youth development and community outreach through soccer. Programming will include: establishing mentoring sessions, promoting employability among young people, and developing grassroots soccer programs.
“Over the years, Soccer in the Streets has been working towards a sustainable and comprehensive program model that is an integral part of the community,” said Soccer in the Streets’ Chief Program Officer Jill Robbins. “By creating infrastructure and a ‘soccer culture’ we are better able to serve kids and their families throughout their years of involvement with their ‘soccer family.’”
As part of its new push for expanding free youth programs, Soccer in the Streets is introducing adult leagues at Station Soccer, postulating a philanthropic side to competitive play. Every dollar spent by adult teams at Station Soccer will help fund youth programs, establishing a unique sustainability model.
“Our organization is spearheading a social enterprise approach,” said Soccer in the Streets’ Executive Director Phil Hill. “In order to increase the reach of our free youth programs, we are determined to employ a sustainability model based on adult leagues, providing a great urban soccer experience for players”.
The unveiling of Station Soccer at the official Atlanta United’s Foundation launch featured Arthur Blank, owner of Atlanta United; Darren Eales, president, Atlanta United; Keith Parker, MARTA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer; and Phil Hill, Soccer in the Streets’ Executive Director.
Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station features turf and lighting infrastructure provided by GreenFields USA, Musco/Cree Lighting and the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
ABOUT SOCCER IN THE STREETS
Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through sports-based training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. Our organization serves in a holistic and comprehensive way, reaching kids on the field, in small-group classroom sessions, through hands-on experiences and activities, and participation in youth leadership councils. We are extremely efficient, making great use of the resources we have been given to achieve the mission. Find out more about Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station and Soccer in the Streets at: www.stationsoccer.com and www.soccerstreets.org, and follow @soccerstreets.