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4ATX Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Austin FC, and community partners St. David’s HealthCare, St. David’s Foundation, The Butler Bros, local nonprofit Soccer Assist, U.S. Soccer Foundation, and Bastrop Independent School District unveiled on Friday a new soccer mini-pitch in Bastrop at Bastrop Middle School.

The organizations teamed up to transform an under-used space at the middle school into a brand-new, state-of-the-art mini-pitch, which was designed pro bono by The Butler Bros.

“Soccer has a unique ability to connect people, and our hope is that this latest mini-pitch project will help further build a sense of community by creating a gathering space everyone can enjoy,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “We’d like to say thank you to all of our impactful community partners who helped make the Bastrop Middle School mini-pitch possible.” 

"We are very proud to be able to use our creativity to support young people in our community,” said The Butler Bros Founder and Creative Chief Marty Butler.

The Bastrop Middle School mini-pitch was officially unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, April 8. After the opening ceremony, young players participated in soccer scrimmages and other activities. St. David’s HealthCare, Austin FC’s first founding partner, official healthcare partner, and training partner was in attendance as well.

“St. David’s HealthCare is proud to be a sponsor of Bastrop Middle School’s mini-pitch, a safe and exciting space for students, their families and the community to play soccer,” Denise Bradley, Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs for St. David’s HealthCare, said. “St. David’s Emergency Center has been serving the Bastrop community for nearly a decade, and we are commited to creating exceptional experiences for all, whether it’s in our healthcare facility or out in the community.” 

Through a unique partnership with St. David's HealthCare, St. David’s Foundation reinvests proceeds from the hospital system back into the community, with a goal of advancing health equity and improving the health and well-being of underserved Central Texas neighbors.

“St. David’s Foundation is excited to partner with Bastrop ISD, Soccer Assist and multiple, innovative partners who believe in the power of sports to create play equity. Soccer has the ability to connect us across cultural divides, socio-economic status and geography, while also being a catalyst for physical activity and improved mental health through access to green spaces,” said Abena Asante, MHA, St. David’s Foundation. “We are thrilled to see the soccer mini-pitch in Bastrop come to life and – importantly – for kids and families to embrace social connection, physical activity and have fun.”

The Bastrop Middle School mini-pitch is the latest development in the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game national movement to ensure children in underserved communities can enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. To date, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has installed more than 450 mini-pitches nationwide, with the goal of installing 1,000 by 2026.

“After completing four mini-pitches together, it’s clear that the community-focused approach that Soccer Assist and the 4ATX Foundation take to bring soccer to neighborhoods across the greater Austin area is unmatched,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “We’re so excited to see how this new mini-pitch at Bastrop Middle School helps cultivate our next generation of leaders on and off the field.”

"Since we started fundraising for these mini-pitches over 7 years ago, we have had our eyes on building one outside of Austin,” said Soccer Assist Founder Aaron Rochlen, Ph.D. “To install this beautiful pitch in Bastrop with these amazing partners in the color scheme of Austin's own professional soccer team is a dream come true. We are so appreciative of the amazing donors and sponsors who have offered their own ‘Assist’ in helping us make this happen." 

“Bastrop ISD is excited to have been chosen for the new soccer mini-pitch,” said Bastrop ISD Superintendent Barry Edwards. “This will be the first of this type of project in our district and in our community. We want to thank the participating organizations for making this possible.”

The Bastrop mini-pitch marks the fourth mini-pitch in Central Texas and the first outside Austin which 4ATX Foundation has helped install in collaboration with Soccer Assist and U.S. Soccer Foundation, joining 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.