Released By Osceola County Community Outreach/Public Information Office
Youth and professional soccer players were on hand for the unveiling of a new mini-pitch at Royal Palm Park in Buenaventura Lakes, as part of a national effort to positively impact the lives of young people through participation in the sport.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target, Osceola County and UF/IFAS Extension Florida 4-H unveiled the revamped play space, which is part of Target’s commitment to build 100 soccer play spaces across the country by 2020 as part of the Safe Places to Play program. These soccer spaces support the Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game campaign to ensure children in underserved communities can benefit from all the positive aspects that the game of soccer has to offer. Launched in 2017, It’s Everyone’s Game has a goal of building 1,000 mini-pitches nationwide by 2026 and engaging one million children in the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program annually.
“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. “Target continues to demonstrate its commitment to growing the sport of soccer and it has been exciting to see the impact these pitches have had on local communities across the country.”
The national partnership creates quality play spaces for children of local communities and supports the U.S.S.F.’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 is providing $6 million to support the U.S.S.F.’s national efforts to turn underutilized spaces into safe and accessible soccer spaces and increase access to sports-based youth programming.
“The new mini-pitch will develop interpersonal skills, while improving the physical and emotional health of our youth. At the same time the lessons learned on the pitch will forge social bonds, strengthen camaraderie and inspire confidence and self-esteem. These critical life skills are all important off the pitch, leading to personal growth and a winning outlook on life,” said District 2 Commissioner Viviana Janer, whose district includes Royal Palm Park. “As we know, there is not always affordable and easy access to soccer programs and play spaces in underserved communities, so I’m thrilled to be part of an initiative that will help ensure that our children have these potentially life-changing opportunities.”