On Friday, September 29, 4ATX Foundation and Austin FC founding partner YETI teamed up with Austin Independent School District (ISD) and the U.S. Soccer Foundation to unveil a new, state-of-the-art mini-pitch at Akins Early College High School in South Austin.
The organizations worked together to create a safe space for people to gather and play soccer in their community. The ribbon-cutting event last Friday celebrated the official opening of the mini-pitch to the public with a performance by the Akins HS band and a Retas FC pop-up soccer session featuring Akins girls’ and boys’ soccer teams. Austin FC defender Kipp Keller and midfielder CJ Fodrey attended the event as well.
“4ATX Foundation is proud to add an eighth mini-pitch to our growing network across Central Texas,” said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro. “Thanks to partners like YETI and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, we’re continuing to create spaces for families to connect in their own communities through the power of soccer.”
The mini-pitch features mural art designed by local artist Alisen Jackson. The mural brings together two figures donning Austin FC jerseys, surrounded by elements representing Austin culture.
“We’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with 4ATX Foundation and our partners in Austin to provide more safe places to play,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This new mini-pitch will not only serve as a place to play soccer but also for the community to gather and make connections through the love of our game.”
During the event, Katia Castellanos - runner-up of this year’s Austin FC & Netspend Coach of the Year Award and Akins HS Girls’ Head Soccer Coach - was honored, and the school’s soccer program received a Verde Nets donation from 4ATX Foundation and Netspend. Through the Verde Net donation program, 4ATX and Netspend have now donated over 150 nets to schools and community organizations in Central Texas.
The Akins High School mini-pitch marks the eighth mini-pitch in Central Texas which Austin FC and 4ATX Foundation have helped install in collaboration with U.S. Soccer Foundation, joining Murphy Park mini-pitch in Taylor, TX in April 2023, the Uvalde mini-pitch opened in Uvalde in December 2022, the Northeast Early College High School mini-pitch opened in north Austin in September 2022, the Bastrop Middle School mini-pitch opened in Bastrop in April 2022, the Civitan Neighborhood Park mini-pitch opened in southeast Austin in December 2021, the Wooldridge Park mini-pitch opened in north Austin in October 2020, and the Dove Springs Recreation Center futsal court opened in southeast Austin in November 2019.
Schools and community organizations who would like to be considered for future mini-pitches can do so by completing 4ATX Foundation’s community needs form here.