The new mini-pitch at the Colonel Charles Young Playground in Harlem. (Photo courtesy of NYCFC)
NEW YORK – The New York City Soccer Initiative partners Saturday announced that a new mini-soccer pitch has opened at Colonel Charles Young Playground in Harlem, a park named after a pioneering African American Army officer, cartographer, teacher, and diplomat.
The mini-pitch is part of the five-year partnership to construct 50 community pitches across all five boroughs by the end of this year.
The partners include the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, NYC Parks, New York City Football Club, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, adidas and Etihad Airways.
This mini-pitch is unique because it was created in partnership with and designed by Black Players for Change and Black Women’s Player Collective, two independent Black player-led organizations focused on tackling racial injustices in society and in the game of soccer. BPC and BWPC members plan to visit the site often and form long-term relationships with the youth programs offered at the park.
BPC and BWPC come together as one voice in a new video, which can be viewed here:
“Announcing a project like this on what will be seen and learned as a pivotal day in Black Soccer history is inspiring. To see BPC and BWPC come together to advocate as one voice in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation and NYCFC while continuing our work to build paths of equity in our game is extraordinary,” said Quincy Amarikwa, founder and director of strategic partnerships of BPC. “A big thank you to the Mayor’s Fund, adidas, and Etihad for committing to a long-term vision and recognizing the value of these forward-thinking organizations.”
Added BWPC executive board member Imani Dorsey: “We are overjoyed by the installation of this mini-pitch at Colonel Charles Young Playground in Harlem. The BWPC aims to share Black experiences with the general public while also making the sport of soccer increasingly accessible to BIPOC communities. This pitch, its location, and its coming together in time for Juneteenth marks an unprecedented celebration of blackness in the soccer community we are proud to be a part of. Thank you to the tireless work of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, NYCFC, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Etihad Airways, and adidas to recognize the vision we and BPC had for this pitch and bringing it to life for all to enjoy.”