The global nonprofit love.fútbol this summer inaugurated two fields in the city to provide access and safe places for youth to play.
Max Myers Recreation Center welcomed its new field in mid-August, and Samuel Recreation Center, 3539 Gaul St., had its opening on Sept. 10.
“Four years ago, a young man walked by our community build day at the Dr. Tanner G. Duckrey School and asked if we needed help. The next thing we knew, he had joined in, working hand-in-hand with other local volunteers. This story embodies the spirit of our projects, where community members step up and take action to build a better future for their kids,” said love.fútbol’s CEO and co-founder, Drew Chafetz. “Every project we do in Philadelphia reinforces our core belief in the power of play and sport to bring people together.”
Some 1,500 community members will be positively impacted by the two new spaces, according to love.futbol.
To build these sports spaces, love.fútbol implemented its community engagement methodology, which builds local ownership over the project and a collective mission to promote well-being through sports. For the projects in Philadelphia, local volunteers, including parents,
grandparents and other youth advocates, came together to plan, organize and help build the sports space.
“I am proud to be a coach for FC Max Myers, a free soccer program for the community. Many of the kids are refugees or immigrants, and I know I’m a role model to the younger kids,” said Stacie Brilliant, one of the coaches at Max Myers.
“Our goal is to bring life back to Samuel Recreation Center by creating a safe and fun-filled environment for everyone, which is what this amazing space allows us to do. We are able to provide an encouraging atmosphere by offering opportunities that enable our children to learn, develop and enjoy sports as well as unite the community,” shared Karen Stiles, community leader and Friends of Samuel Rec member.
The strong collaboration and relationship between love.fútbol and the project sponsors such as the Pincus Family Foundation and the Philadelphia Union (co-sponsored the Samuel project) were key in providing the city with these new sports spaces.
Since 2006, love.fútbol has partnered with the sports, business and nonprofit sectors to complete more than 60 sports space projects across five continents. ••