4ATX Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Austin FC, alongside Austin FC founding partner Netspend and community partner U.S. Soccer Foundation unveiled last Thursday a new soccer mini-pitch in Austin at Northeast Early College High School. The organizations teamed up to transform an under-used space at the school into a brand-new, state-of-the-art mini-pitch.
To celebrate the opening of the mini-pitch, Netspend hosted a Back-to-School event at Northeast Early College High School on September 8, featuring a soccer tournament and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Students who attended met Austin FC players Jon Gallagher and Damian Las, and received an Austin FC and Netspend backback to begin the school year.
“The opening of another mini-pitch in Austin is the perfect encapsulation of 4ATX Foundation’s mission to build physically, socially, and emotionally healthier communities through soccer,” said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro. “We’d like thank our partners at Netspend and U.S. Soccer Foundation for helping to bring this new mini-pitch to life, and we hope students enjoy it for many years to come.”
"Netspend, alongside 4ATX Foundation and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, is proud to unveil a new mini soccer pitch at Northeast High School in Austin. We are excited to have co-hosted another back-to-school event with Austin FC, where Northeast High School's soccer teams played a tournament on the new pitch, and Netspend team members spent time with students and families," said Netspend President Kelley C. Knutson. "Since our founding 20+ years ago, giving back to the community remains a key tenant of our overall mission, and a top priority for our team members, and the new mini-pitch will enable these students and families to have fun, stay active and remain healthy."
The Northeast Early College High 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 500 mini-pitches nationwide, with the goal of installing 1,000 by 2026.
“We are thrilled to open another mini-pitch with 4ATX Foundation who continues to identify opportunities across the region where soccer can bring its communities closer together, and we’re grateful to work with Austin Independent School District for the first time,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This mini-pitch will provide another safe place to play for children in the Austin area and ensure that they can reap the positive social, emotional, and health outcomes that come with being involved in our game.”
The Northeast Early College high school mini-pitch marks the fifth mini-pitch in Central Texas which 4ATX Foundation has helped install in collaboration with U.S. Soccer Foundation, joining 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.