Houston, TX (May 25, 2018) – The U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target, and Houston Parks & Recreation Department unveiled two new soccer play spaces at Eastwood Park in Houston. The grand opening marked the first of 100 soccer play spaces that Target has committed to building with the U.S. Soccer Foundation across the country by 2020 as part of the Safe Places to Play program.
These soccer play spaces are part of 1,000 safe places to play that the U.S. Soccer Foundation will create with its partners across the country by 2026. These soccer spaces support the Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game campaign to ensure children in underserved communities can benefit from all that the game of soccer has to offer.
“It is an honor to partner with organizations that are committed to giving more children a chance to play the beautiful game of soccer and a safe place to play it, right in their neighborhoods,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “These two soccer play spaces are just the first of many to come from our partnership with Target. Through soccer, children learn to develop healthier habits, work as a team, and cultivate critical life skills. Together we will be able to bring the sport to thousands of children across the country.”
The national partnership creates quality play spaces for members of the local community and supports the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven youth soccer program, Soccer for Success, which helps children establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills. Throughout the course of the partnership, Target will provide $6 million to support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s efforts to turn underutilized spaces into safe and accessible soccer spaces and increase access to sports-based youth programming.
“Target’s partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation for the Safe Places to Play program is the latest initiative in our larger commitment to soccer. What we love about soccer and Safe Places to Play is how they bring families and communities together across cultures and all areas of the country,” said Rick Gomez, chief marketing officer, Target. “We’re proud to help build 100 new soccer play spaces by 2020 to create safe and accessible places to play and give more kids the opportunity to get involved in the game.”
“The Houston Parks and Recreation Department thanks our partners for their efforts in expanding soccer opportunities for Houston’s youth,” said Steve Wright, director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “The new mini-pitch site will help us expand the reach of Soccer for Success to more children in the Eastwood Park neighborhood.”
Hector Avila, parks department coordinator of the Houston Soccer for Success program added, “I am happy and very excited to be part of this mini-pitch (futsal) movement. I believe that our Soccer for Success participants and all future generations of Houston will benefit from playing year-round on these courts.”
In addition to creating 1,000 safe playing spaces, the U.S. Soccer Foundation also aims to expand Soccer for Success and engage 1 million children in the program by 2026. For more information about It’s Everyone’s Game, how to stay updated, and ways to get involved, visit itseveryonesgame.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 www.facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.
About Houston Parks & Recreation Department
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) stewards and manages over 37,851 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities. For more information on the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, call (832) 395-7022 or visit www.houstonparks.org.