New pitch for East LA youngsters
- Thu 06 Oct 2011, 1:50AM
- Posted by City staff
The Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles has unveiled a new, first-class football pitch at its main facility on McDonnell Avenue in East Los Angeles.
The synthetic “FieldTurf” pitch will significantly enhance the Boys & Girls Club’s sports, fitness and recreation programmes, directly benefiting more than 2,500 children served by the Club.
In addition, the Boys & Girls Club will also provide coaching programmes on a year-round basis.
The pitch was a gift to the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC.
The initiative is part of the Embassy’s partnership with Manchester City Football Club, which began when the team toured the United States in the summer of 2010.
The Embassy and City have teamed up to give deserving children access to quality playing fields in US communities along with City’s award-winning and complementary coaching and education programmes.
Manchester City Football Club is owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.
UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba, Sarah Lynch, Managing Director of City in the Community, and hundreds of youngsters were there to celebrate the opening of the pitch.
“We are incredibly fortunate and grateful for this gift,” said Anna Araujo, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles.
“This field will serve this community and all our kids well for many years. It will be an integral part of our community-based programming to enhance extracurricular activities for kids in this area.”
“Sports have an incredible ability to unite people and tangibly improve the communities they touch,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.
“We are privileged to take part in this effort to serve such an important and deserving organization like the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles who provide services to hundreds of kids each and every day.”
In the summer of 2011, City conducted a second United States tour which was focused on Los Angeles and other West Coast cities. During this time, the club began to forge a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, hosting a BBQ Beach Day for more than 300 Boys & Girls’ Club members who participated in soccer clinics and beach activities with the City squad.
The City Soccer in the Community programme will provide support and coaching for this community pitch in the years ahead
Sarah Lynch, Managing Director of City in the Community, said:
“Social responsibility and community engagement are deep seated in Manchester City Football Club's heritage. Everyone who gets involved with our club becomes part of the 'City family,’ and for that reason, we’re delighted to extend our reach into the East Los Angeles community.”
Founded more than 60 years ago, the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles currently serves 2,500 children in the East Los Angeles community. Aside from sports, fitness and reaction programming, the Club also provides education & career exploration, financial literacy, and health and life skills activities for children.
Manchester City FC was founded in 1880 by the family of Arthur Connell, the first rector of the newly consecrated St Mark’s Church in West Gorton. The family believed that football can create opportunities and a sense of community, a belief that remains at the heart of the Club to this day.
25 years ago, MCFC was one of the first football clubs to set up a Community scheme, City in the Community. Each year, City in the Community works with over 200,000 people throughout Greater Manchester, with a particular focus on the East Manchester community.
In recent years, the Club has taken its CSR programme to an international audience, creating community opportunities in the USA and the United Arab Emirates
In the USA in 2010 the club laid a football pitch at a school in Spanish Harlem, New York, to allow the pupils to play football in a safe and secure environment.
Since then, over 3,300 children every week have received coaching from City’s US-based community team, City Soccer in the Community (CSITC). The scheme was such a success that the following year the club committed to creating this new pitch at the Boys and Girls Club of East LA.
Manchester City has been supporting its communities for over 130 years and continues to aim to leave a lasting and significant legacy in all the communities it touches.