Bringing new sport courts and programs to local parks to provide safe place for kids to play
The Greater Philadelphia YMCA has partnered with Target and the US Soccer Foundation to help facilitate the installation of three new hard sport court spaces called “mini-pitches” that are suited for soccer programs and pick-up games that will provide a safe place for kids to play in the Camden neighborhood. In an area like Camden, space is at a premium so these efficient mini-pitches provide quality playing surfaces for children and adults that also transform the look and feel of the neighborhood.
The US Soccer Foundation approached the Greater Philadelphia YMCA with the idea to install these sites in Camden as part of the USSF’s Safe Places to Play program. The YMCA has been a longtime partner of the USSF by leading their Soccer for Success program in Camden for almost 9 years. SFS is a sports based program that focuses on students in under-served communities and creates constructive ways to foster social, emotional, and physical skills through sport.
“The Y’s Soccer for Success programs in Camden City began in 2012 with 45 players, said Jen Segelken, Vice President of Community Services for the Greater Philadelphia YMCA. “Today, we proudly serve over 1000 players and we cannot wait to implement the program at the new pitches. The Greater Philadelphia YMCA is thrilled to be a part of another project that provides families with another safe place to play and enjoy healthy activities in Camden.”
The installation of these 3 mini-pitch courts will be at Northgate II and Von Nieda Park in Camden City thanks to the approval of Camden City and Camden County Parks who are the landowners of these properties. The projects are valued at $180,000 worth of park renovations which Target has vowed to fund. This investment will allow the YMCA to continue the Soccer for Success program and expand it to serve more children in the Camden area.
Construction of these courts is underway and is estimated to be completed over the next few weeks. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony to set to follow to unveil the mini-pitches to the community.
About the Greater Philadelphia YMCA
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Throughout the Delaware Valley, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA serves more than 200,000 individuals a year – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in 17 YMCA locations, and one overnight camp, throughout Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Pike, Burlington and Camden counties, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information, visit philaymca.org.