MAYOR DE BLASIO, MAYOR’S FUND TO ADVANCE NYC, U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION, NYC FOOTBALL CLUB AND ADIDAS LAUNCH NYC SOCCER INITIATIVE – BRINGING 50 NEW SOCCER FIELDS TO UNDERSERVED NEIGHBORHOODS
July 12, 2016
NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club and adidas today announced the launch of the New York City Soccer Initiative, a public-private partnership that will build and maintain 50 soccer fields in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs over the next five years. Fields will begin to open for play as early as next year.
“These new soccer fields will be essential in keeping our young New Yorkers safe, active and connected with the community. With this partnership, we are tackling inequalities in all its forms – including in our parks and outdoor spaces,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “In the city of immigrants, with so many different languages and cultures, the New York City Soccer Initiative will be one of the great tools we use to unify young New Yorkers. My thanks to the Mayor’s Fund, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, New York City Football Club and adidas for coming together and building a meaningful program.”
“When we can make space for children to play in, we’re saying that we’re invested in their long term health and wellbeing,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The City Soccer Initiative will open the doors to a whole new world for kids who may otherwise not have access to these programs. Healthy kids grow up to be productive adults, and I thank the administration, the New York City Football Club, adidas and the U.S. Soccer Foundation for giving South Bronx and East Harlem children the opportunity to experience the exciting world of soccer.”
"The U.S. Soccer Foundation is honored to work with the New York City Football Club, adidas and the City of New York to make a major impact in the City’s five boroughs. The U.S. Soccer Foundation is committed to growing the sport of soccer and using the game as a vehicle to improve health and social outcomes among children in underserved communities. The commitment of strong partners like these underscores the importance of this work and represents a big step toward transforming the landscape in this great city and across the nation,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
"This is a special day for the New York City Football Club. Community has been an integral part of this Club since the very beginning," said Jon Patricof, President of New York City Football Club. "We have seen through the work of our extensive community programs that soccer has the ability to change lives. This initiative will give access to pitches and help us deliver our programming to thousands of New York City school kids in every borough, and we are thrilled to be a part of it"
“We believe that through sports, we have the power to change people’s lives,” said Ernesto Bruce, Senior Director of Soccer for adidas. “Sports gives young people so many amazing social, emotional and physical benefits that reward them for life. But there’s a lot threatening sports today – including safe access for kids to play. Today’s announcement to create and maintain 50 soccer fields, spread across the five boroughs of New York City will help bring sports to more kids, giving them a sense of team and community they might not otherwise have. We‘ve enjoyed partnering with Mayor Bill de Blasio; the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC; the U.S. Soccer Foundation; and the New York City Football Club in the development of this project thus far and are eager to have the fields become a vital, thriving part of the larger communities that they serve.”
“By pooling public and private resources and expertise to implement creative solutions that address our toughest challenges, the New York City Soccer Initiative is improving the lives of New Yorkers,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. “With increased opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating in our most underserved communities, paired with enriching programming for young people, we are putting these kids on a path to success.”
"New York City Football Club is extremely proud to be part of today's announcement," said New York City Football Club Vice Chair Marty Edelman. “The New York City Soccer Initiative is a significant investment in the future of soccer in New York City, and alongside our programs which reach thousands of kids across the five boroughs, this is another example of how we can use the power of soccer to transform young people's lives and enrich their communities.”
New York City Football Club players, David Villa, Frank Lampard and Jason Hernandez; and Head Coach Patrick Vieira; and Sporting Director Claudio Reyna joined the announcement, which comes with a pledge from all four partners to invest a total of $3 million to build and maintain the fields and provide free programming for New York City school children focused on healthy, active living and mentorship.
The program will provide after-school soccer and mentoring programs, such as soccer clinics, festivals and youth summits to promote safe, active and connected communities. The New York City Soccer Initiative will also include a partnership with the City’s Young Men’s Initiative, providing young men of color with mentorship opportunities.
Through the construction of these new fields, the New York City Soccer Initiative will aim to connect more young people to soccer, expand U.S. Soccer Foundation’s nationally-recognized soccer after-school program – Soccer for Success ¬– and repurpose underutilized spaces in our most underserved neighborhoods, creating a safe, public area where a community can gather. All of the neighborhoods being selected to host the New York City Soccer Initiative fields are focuses of the Mayor’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative, the Parks Department’s Community Parks Initiative or the Young Men’s Initiative.
Evidence shows that connecting young people – especially those in the lowest-income communities – to mentorship opportunities early on is directly correlated to future success in high school, college and their careers. The New York City Soccer Initiative supports Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of ensuring that New Yorkers of all ages can live, work, learn and play in neighborhoods that promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
The New York City Soccer Initiative will utilize the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success program – a recipient of the White House’s 2011 Social Innovation Fund Award – and builds off the success of the New York City Football Club’s Healthy Hat-Trick program. Together, those initiatives have served more than 15,000 young people with after-school programming in New York City. These programs are proven to have had a positive impact on their young participants throughout the five boroughs:
• 73 percent said the programs helped them to make healthier food choices;
• 83 percent said it helped to improve their confidence;
• 70 percent have said they now enjoy going to school more.
The New York City Soccer Initiative fields will be constructed to ensure year-round functionality. In addition, the New York City Football Club will create a fund to support the ongoing maintenance of the fields. The first eight sites are as follows:
1. J.H.S. 166 George Gershwin – Brooklyn, DOE
2. Cypress Hills Houses, Brooklyn, NYCHA
3. Irwin Altman Middle School 172, Queens, DOE
4. South Jamaica Houses, Queens, NYCHA
5. Millbrook Playground, Bronx, Parks
6. Eagle Academy For Young Men Of Staten Island, Staten Island, DOE
7. Harlem Lane Playground, Manhattan, Parks
8. P.S. 083 Luis Munoz Rivera, Manhattan, DOE
“At New York City Parks, it's our job to make sure that New Yorkers – our children especially – have the chance to get involved in sports and fitness activities. Thanks to the Mayor’s office, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the New York City Football Club and adidas, those opportunities have now expanded,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
“Children reap critical benefits from exercise and it’s critical to form healthy fitness habits at a young age to support their physical and mental health," said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. "The New York City Soccer Initiative will provide safe outdoor space for children to engage in physical activity, have fun playing soccer and also learn about the importance of making healthy choices and being active. As a big soccer fan myself, I know the significant impact this will have on students and families – including in many of our immigrant communities – across the City.”
“NYCHA is a proud partner in this initiative bringing soccer fields to neighborhoods that need them – and we’re thrilled that two of our developments will directly benefit,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “These fields and this program will bring people together and provide additional opportunities for exercise and healthy competition – helping us create more connected NYCHA communities and improving quality of life for residents across the five boroughs.”
Congressman Charles Rangel said, “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for fostering this public-private partnership through the New York City Soccer Initiative that will serve youths in our congressional district after the last bell – at Harlem Lane Playground and at P.S. 83 Luis Munoz Rivera School. The Soccer for Success program will provide consistent mentorship, exercise and recreation to our children who will learn not only to play a sport, but also be part of a team.”
"The Bronx suffers from disproportionately high rates of obesity, asthma, heart disease, and other chronic health issues. This new initiative will play an important role in combating these health disparities by creating state-of-the-art soccer fields that will encourage physical activity and promote healthier living,” said State Senator Jose M. Serrano.
“I applaud the Mayor, adidas, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and the New York City Football Club for spearheading this initiative; anything that creates the opportunity for individuals to exercise, play sports and enjoy the outdoors in their local neighborhood benefits the entire community.” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I look forward to the creation of these new soccer fields and hope that the Mayor’s Office continues to support youth programming so that these spaces are fully utilized going forward.”
“I'd like to thank the Mayor, the New York City Football Club, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and adidas for bringing a soccer field to our community,” said Assembly Member Rodriguez. “This new amenity will be a catalyst to promote healthy habits, teach leadership skills and inspire our youth. Thanks to their generosity, East Harlem kids will no longer be left on the sidelines.”
Assembly Member Francisco Moya said, "Growing up in Queens, some of my earliest memories are of learning to play football in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The announcement today of the New York City Soccer Initiative to build new football facilities in underserved communities will give more children in our great city a chance to play the beautiful game. With the growth of football's popularity, as well as the South American population, these pitches will provide greatly needed relief to our current facilities that overwhelmed with use. I applaud the Mayor, the New York City Football Club, adidas, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation for partnering up to provide the kids in communities like mine the chance to make memories that will last a lifetime."
“Thanks to the New York City Soccer Initiative; thousands of children, teens and soccer fans from across the city will now have access to state-of-the-art soccer fields, as well as expert led mentoring and training programs” said Assembly Member David Weprin. “I am especially pleased that one of these soccer fields will be located in the 24th Assembly District at the Irwin Altman Middle School, and I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for scoring a goal for active and healthy lifestyles.”
Assembly Member Matthew Titone said, “All children should have a good education, healthy food and the opportunity to exercise. Bringing the world’s most popular sport to underserved neighborhoods will help our youth become more fit and provide an outlet for positive activity.”
Council Member Barry Grodenchik said, "I am delighted to see the City investing in youth programs. As a former little league coach, I understand firsthand how beneficial sports can be. This initiative will serve thousands of young New Yorkers and provide important mentorship and after school programs throughout the five boroughs.”
Council Member Deborah Rose said, "This public-private New York City Soccer initiative is a welcome investment in my district, an investment that will not only enrich the lives of countless young people, but also the long-term health of our city as a whole"
About the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, chaired by First Lady Chirlane McCray, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to promoting partnerships between the City and the private sector in support of high-impact public programs. The Mayor’s Fund is focused on serving as a vehicle for the generous business and philanthropic communities to contribute to City programs and enhance the lives of New Yorkers in areas ranging from mental health, to youth workforce development, to immigration and citizenship. To learn more about the Mayor’s Fund, visit nyc.gov/fund.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national models for sports-based youth development. They are committed to helping young people in underserved communities across the country. The U.S. Soccer Foundation programs help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth through trained coach-mentors. The foundation partners with local communities to create cost-effective, long-term initiatives that meet each community’s youth-development needs and provide safe environments where kids thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org, or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
About New York City Football Club
New York City Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in New York City that competes in Major League Soccer. It was announced as the league's twentieth franchise on May 21, 2013 and is the first and only Major League Soccer Club located within the five boroughs of New York City. Majority owned by City Football Group, which includes Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos, New York City FC plays its home games at Yankee Stadium, which is also home to minority owner, the New York Yankees. New York City FC is embarking on its second ever season in 2016 and has former US National Team captain Claudio Reyna as its Sporting Director and former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira as its coach, in addition to Designated Players: Captain David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo. Website: NYCFC.com | Twitter: @NYCFC | Instagram: @NYCFC | Hashtags: #NYCFC | #WeAreOne | Facebook.com/NewYorkCityFC | Stadium: Yankee Stadium | Training Facility: SUNY Purchase
About adidas Soccer
adidas is the global leader in soccer. It is the official sponsor and official supplier partner of the most important soccer tournaments in the world, such as the FIFA World Cup™, the FIFA Confederations Cup, Major League Soccer, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA European Championships. adidas also sponsors some of the world’s top clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea and AC Milan. Some of the world’s best players also on the adidas roster are Leo Messi, Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Thomas Müller, Luis Suárez, James Rodríguez, Diego Costa and Mesut Özil.
adidas, the Foundation's Safe Places to Play - Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation, adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.
All Sports Enterprises, Inc.
All Sports Enterprises, Inc. is the U.S. Soccer Foundation's preferred artificial turf supplier and installer. Whether you are building a new, or renovating an existing facility, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. has the materials and professional installation crews to outfit your entire complex. With over 30 different manufacturers to choose from, All Sports Enterprises, Inc. will assist you in selecting the right products for the right application. Its intallation crews are experienced, certified, and will work with you and your staff to make sure your project is a complete success.
APT (Advanced Polymer Technology), the Foundation’s Partner for Acrylic Coating Products, is a global leader in high performance sports surfaces. APT provides people around the world with safe, reliable, performance enhancing surfaces. APT’s Laykold Masters acrylic surfacing system will be the official surface of an estimated 500 mini-pitches. For more information on APT, please visit www.sportsbyapt.com.
For athletes and soccer enthusiasts, AstroTurf® is redefining how synthetic soccer fields are built and perform. The brand offers advanced, state-of-the-art synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies. A growing number of clubs, high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf’s LigaTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit the company’s recently redesigned website, www.astroturf.com/soccer. - See more at: https://ussoccerfoundation.org/article/astroturf-partners-with-the-u.s.-soccer-foundation-as-a-national-partner-for-field-building-program#sthash.FL8E8bAM.dpuf
CHA Sports, the Foundation's Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport's full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com.
Hunter Industries, the Foundation's National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields. Hunter Industries' focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, email@example.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation's grants program.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.
Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.
MTJ Sports is honored to be a corporate partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and its Safe Places To Play program. We believe in working with our customers as a true business partnership. We cultivate & drive healthy relationships through our core business values and provide premier turnkey services for sports surfaces & equipment from design & manufacturing all the way through the installation process. For more information please visit our website at www.mtjsports.com or contact our president, Mats Jonmarker, directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.
SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.
Soccer.com, the Foundation's National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.
Sport Court®, the Foundation's Supplier for Futsal Surfaces, has been the industry leader in modular athletic flooring for over 30 years. With more than 50,000 installations worldwide, and the largest and most experienced network of authorized dealers, Sport Court® delivers innovative, durable, high-performance solutions for a variety of sports and activities. For more information, please visit sportcourt.com. Please contact Lauren Gillian at email@example.com for any questions regarding Sport Court's corporate partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.
Target announced a national partnership with Safe Spaces to Play in 2017, along with a million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.
TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.
World Soccer Shop
Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.