The field is part of an ongoing effort to create more opportunities for youth to play the game in Charlotte and the Carolinas
CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte FC today announced the inauguration of the mini pitch project at The Apartments at Sailboat Bay in East Charlotte (5417 Albemarle Rd, Charlotte, NC 28212). The Ally-funded project is part of the club’s Pitches for Progress initiative that will install 22 brand-new pitches across Charlotte and the Carolinas throughout the next several years to provide opportunities to play in a safe space for youth and adults in the community.
The inaugural ceremony featured remarks from Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly; Ally Business Administration Executive, Alison Summerville; Sailboat Bay Operations Manager, Nelly Nelson; and Street Soccer 658 Program Director, Peter Fink. The event also included soccer programming for 75 participants in partnership with Street Soccer 658 including players of the Charlotte FC Academy.
“We are very excited about the potential this location and this project as a whole has to make a lasting impact on the community and help grow the game,” said Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly. “We want to thank our partners Ally and Street Soccer 658 as well as the Sailboat Bay neighborhood for their support in this important initiative that builds upon the enthusiasm for soccer in the Carolinas.”
“This community pitch will provide opportunities for local children to play soccer and learn vital life lessons that will serve them on and off the field,” said Alison Summerville, Business Administration executive and head of Corporate Citizenship, Ally. “This tangible outcome of our commitment to work with Charlotte FC to grow soccer locally offers these kids a safe place to play and take part in programming to improve their overall wellbeing.”
The mini pitch, which features both the Ally and Charlotte FC logos on the turf playing surface, is 110 feet by 90 feet and can serve as a single field or be split into two smaller pitches to accommodate more activities. In addition, the club and Ally worked with renowned local muralists Matt Hooker and Matt Moore to install a brand-new kick wall featuring vibrant, original art for the neighborhood relevant to the sport.
Charlotte FC community partner Street Soccer 658 will use the new fields at Sailboat Bay for its soccer programming which involves the participation of more than 100 children in this area. The non-profit organization engages at risk youth and adults and utilizes the game to teach soccer skills, while improving their lives and transforming the community at large.
“We are honored by how this field will impact our community and how it will allow us to expand our reach,” said Street Soccer 658 Program Director Peter Fink. “It doesn’t just impact the children playing on the field, but it gives us an avenue to create relationships with the entire family and helps connect these families to resources in Charlotte.”
In addition to its annual programming, Street Soccer 658 will be hosting three upcoming events as part of a Summer Soccer Series, presented by Ally, in June, July and August. More information is available here.
“Our Sailboat Bay staff is excited to be working with Charlotte FC,” said Nelly Nelson, Sailboat Bay Operations Manager. “We can’t wait to see our community kids play soccer at this amazing facility.”
The club’s Pitches for Progress initiative will install high-quality turf mini soccer pitches in neighborhoods throughout the Carolinas to increase access to the game for youth players. Each pitch will be supported with a comprehensive mentoring curriculum and soccer programming. Details on the construction of new pitches will be unveiled in the coming months.