GRESHAM, OR– Youth in Gresham will have a new play space to call their own, thanks to a grant from Soccer Shots, the MLS Players Union, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The grant, awarded to City of Gresham, enabled the organization to install an acrylic soccer mini-pitch in Davis Park that will provide children and the community with a safe play space for staying physically active and playing soccer.
This grant was made possible through the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Safe Places to Play program, as well as collaboration among Soccer Shots, and the MLS Players Union. Safe Places to Play transforms abandoned courts, empty schoolyards, vacant lots and the like into state-of-the-art soccer fields for children. In communities where space is at a premium, like Gresham, a mini-pitch offers a small, customized area perfectly suited for organized soccer programs and for pick-up games.
“Thanks in large part to the successful community collaboration and partners that brought Gresham the new futsal courts in Vance Park, Gresham residents will enjoy a new family-friendly amenity at Davis Park,” said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. “We are grateful for the support of U.S. Soccer Foundation and its partners, who have built the new futsal court at zero cost to the City.”
The mini-pitch will take the place of the rarely-used basketball courts at Davis Park in the North Rockwood neighborhood, offering Gresham youth and families new recreation opportunities.
“We’re thrilled to support soccer programming in Gresham”, said Soccer Shots cofounder Jason Webb. “We support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Safe Places to Play program, and we’re excited to see positive community impact here in Gresham.”
“On behalf of all MLS players, the Players Union is thrilled to be a part of the creation of this beautiful new mini-pitch for the children of the City of Gresham,” said Bob Foose, the Executive Director of the MLS Players Union. “We look forward to continuing to work to create more safe places to play through our longstanding partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation.”
“Many of the top soccer players in the world fell in love with the game in backyards, dirt roads, and paved streets – any open space big enough for a goal,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Bringing these mini-pitches to urban areas like Gresham builds off the idea that, even with minimal resources, we can create safe places for children to play and invest in introducing the next generation to the world’s game.”
Visit ussoccerfoundation.org to learn how to apply for grants that help transform communities and create more safe places for children to play.
About City of Gresham
Gresham is a dynamic, diverse community rich in history and natural beauty. The fourth largest city in the state of Oregon, Gresham has grown from a rural, farming community to an urban area with a high quality of life for its residents and business community. Our diverse and growing population includes young professionals, growing families, new immigrant communities and long-time residents.
About the Major League Soccer Players Union
The Major League Soccer Players Union, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the exclusive bargaining representative for all Major League Soccer players. For more information about the Players Union, log on to its website at www.mlsplayers.org or contact Bob Foose at (301) 657-3535 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Soccer Shots
Soccer Shots is an engaging children’s soccer program with a focus on character development. Our caring team positively impacts children’s lives on and off the field through best-in-class coaching, curriculum and communication. For more information and to find a program near you, visit www.soccershots.org.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
Jennie Westbrook Courts