COLUMBUS —Columbus Crew SC, the Columbus Crew SC Foundation, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation today announced that they have begun installing two new mini-pitches in Central Ohio at Sullivant Gardens Community Center (755 Renick St, Columbus, OH 43223) and Blackburn Community Center (263 Carpenter St, Columbus, OH 43205). These mini-pitches are slated to be completed by early September. A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held upon completion, with information to be announced in the near future.
The Sullivant Gardens Community Center mini-pitch looks to positively impact the surrounding South Franklinton community just east of downtown Columbus, while the Blackburn Community Center mini-pitch hopes to have a similar positive impact on the community and youth of Franklin Park. The two new state-of-the-art mini-pitches will become the Crew SC Foundation’s latest Field Development Projects, all of which are located around the Central Ohio area and are funded by the Crew SC Foundation. The other Field Development Projects include: Innis Park Fields, Huy Road Park Field, Krumm Park Futsal Park, Antrim Park, Linden Park Mini-Pitch, McCoy Park Field and Eakin Mini-Pitch. Last year, Crew SC installed the Eakin Mini-Pitch at Eakin Elementary School.
“The Crew and the Columbus Crew SC Foundation are thrilled to announce that we have begun work on creating two new mini-pitches in our community,” said Crew SC Executive Vice President and Chief Business Office Steve Lyons. “Increasing access to safe places to play soccer helps to improve lives and communities. Our mini-pitch initiative and its associated programming is an integral part of the Haslam and Edwards Family commitment to giving back to Central Ohio. Beyond the health benefits of exercise, physical activity and the positive influence on the mental well-being of children, our mini-pitches provide a place that brings youth and families together through soccer. We applaud the hard work of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and also want to specifically express our appreciation to the U.S. Soccer Foundation for their leadership and generosity to help bring this project to life.”
To learn more about the Crew SC Foundation’s commitment to providing soccer field space for challenged youth in the Central Ohio Community, as well as to see other Crew SC Foundation’s Field Development Projects, visit the following link: https://bit.ly/3iGXTy2.
“Playing sports helps kids stay active, and teaches self-confidence, sportsmanship and teamwork – skills that are valuable in sports and in life,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. “The donation of these two mini-pitches supports our efforts to connect kids with opportunities to help prepare for a bright future.”
Along with the creation of the mini-pitches, the U.S. Soccer Foundation will work with Sullivant Gardens Community Center and Blackburn Community Center to provide Soccer for Success programming at both locations. Soccer for Success is an after-school program that helps children establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through trained coach-mentors and community engagement.
“It’s been exciting to witness the evolution of our partnership with Columbus Crew SC and Columbus Recreation and Parks,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “Now more than ever, it’s important that children have access to safe places to play and high-quality soccer programming – the mini-pitches at Sullivant Gardens Community Center and Blackburn Community Center will provide just that.”
Columbus Crew SC returns to action this week with a pair of matches as part of Phase One of the continuation of play schedule. The Black & Gold enter the week unbeaten in MLS regular-season action (4-0-1, 13 points) and stand atop of the Eastern Conference standings. The Crew hosts Chicago Fire FC at MAPFRE Stadium on Thursday, August 20 [7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)]. Following Thursday’s match, Crew SC travels to face New York City FC at Red Bull Arena on Monday, August 24 [7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio, FOX Sports GO (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971TheFan.com (English), ColumbusCrewSC.com (Spanish)].
ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC
Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer. Crew SC is operated by The Edwards Family and Haslam Sports Group. The Black & Gold won their first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The 2020 campaign is the Crew’s 25th season in MLS and the 21st season at historic MAPFRE Stadium — the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States.
Website: ColumbusCrewSC.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #Crew96 | Facebook.com/columbuscrewsc | Snapchat: ColumbusCrewSC | Stadium: MAPFRE Stadium | Training Facility: Crew SC Training Center at Obetz | Future Training Facility (2021): OhioHealth Performance Center | New, downtown stadium coming July 2021.
ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CREW SC FOUNDATION
Founded in 2003 as the charitable arm of the Black & Gold, the Columbus Crew SC Foundation’s mission is to change young lives through a passion for soccer. The Columbus Crew SC Foundation’s core areas of focus are soccer field development, funding grants for underserved leagues and clubs, providing Major League Soccer experiences for at-risk youth and supporting coach, player and referee development in underserved communities.
ABOUT COLUMBUS RECREATION AND PARKS DEPARTMENT
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s mission is to connect the people of our community through the power of nature, wellness and creativity. With nearly 400 parks, 29 community centers, five athletic complexes and 120 miles of regional trails, our vision is to ensure every resident has access to all of our department’s many services. For more information, visit columbusrecparks.com or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT 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 ussoccerfoundation.org.