New Soccer Mini-pitches At Durham's East End Park Offer Kids A Safe Place To Play
2 November 2018
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the U.S. Soccer Foundation have teamed up to unveil two new soccer mini-pitches in East End Park in Durham. Open to the community, these outdoor hard surface areas, provide a safe place to play and will increase access to youth soccer in the community.
The official kick off featured a ribbon cutting ceremony, a soccer scrimmage with prizes and a meet-n-greet with special guests Emmy-award winning broadcaster on FOX Sports, Fernando Fiore and U.S Women National Team member Crystal Dunn.
This commitment by Blue Cross NC and DPR marks the latest development in the U.S Soccer Foundation's It's Everyone's Game national movement to ensure children in underserved communities enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game.
Research indicates that participation in after-school soccer programs can have a significant impact on the development of teamwork skills, can motivate kids to try harder in school, and can help them avoid anti-social behavior.
"Children need safe places to play, learn and grow," said Reagan Greene Pruitt, Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Community Engagement at Blue Cross NC. "The new mini-pitches at East End Park will allow kids to not just play soccer, but also develop critical life skills, boost confidence, and aid in their personal growth both on and off the pitch. That's going to make life better for everyone in this community."
"I want to thank the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Blue Cross NC for their commitment to our city, our community and our youth," said DPR Director Rhonda B. Parker. "We are thrilled to expand offerings by providing more opportunities for the Durham community to maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase their physical activity."
"We are excited to partner with Blue Cross NC and DPR to increase access to the world's game," said Barlow Flores, Associate Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. "These new mini-pitches will ensure more children in Durham have a safe place to play soccer and cultivate critical life skills like teamwork and confidence that will help them succeed on the pitch, in the classroom, and throughout their lives."
As part of It's Everyone's Game, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has set the goal to engage one million children annually in Soccer for Success, the Foundation's after-school program offered free to participants and proven to improve health and social outcomes of participants and build 1,000 safe places to play with partners by 2026. National partners of the campaign include adidas, Major League Soccer, Musco Lighting and Target. For more information on the movement, how to stay updated, and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.org.