On Saturday morning, 4ATX Foundation, along with Austin FC Founding Partner St. David’s HealthCare and a trio of other partners, made Austin a little more Verde with the unveiling of a new soccer mini-pitch not too far from the stadium Austin FC will call home.
The mini-pitch, located on the Wooldridge Elementary campus, is presented by St. David’s HealthCare and also involved Austin Parks and Recreation, U.S. Soccer Foundation, Soccer Assist, and The Butler Bros who were responsible for all design elements of the mini-pitch. The project is an expression of 4ATX Foundation’s efforts to close the opportunity gap through the power of soccer and promote opportunity for children and families throughout Austin.
Partners involved in the project, including Anthony Precourt, Founder, Majority Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Austin FC and 4ATX Foundation Board President, and Agatha Precourt, 4ATX Foundation Board Member, were onsite for Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“As part of its mission, 4ATX Foundation seeks to close the opportunity gap by providing access to youth development opportunities on and off the soccer field,” said Kaitlin Swarts, VP of Community Impact for Austin FC. “Those opportunities include access to safer spaces to play soccer, particularly in historically underserved areas.”
“This mini-pitch, which is less than three miles from our stadium, on a campus that serves a large low-income student population, is a perfect example of the types of projects we want to support as a Club and as a Foundation,” she added. “We hope the Wooldridge students and all neighborhood children will take to their mini-pitch and make it a place of their own, where they can learn, play and build a strong community.”
Andy Loughnane, President of Austin FC and 4ATX Board Member, also remarked on the significance of the Wooldridge project being essentially in the Club’s backyard.
“This project is close to our stadium and will always be special because it is within our neighborhood,” he noted. “We know that soccer can be used as a platform to help kids develop leadership skills and achieve their goals. As Austin FC arrives in Austin, more kids will be dreaming about playing at our stadium wearing an Austin FC jersey, and those dreams could begin to shape into reality at the Woolridge Elementary School mini-pitch.”
A representative for St. David’s HealthCare, Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement Abbi Miller, lauded the project in particular for the health benefits associated with the use of the mini-pitch, including the promotion of exercise.
“As healthcare providers, we are proud to be part of a project that has created a new space that encourages Austin children to live healthier and more active lives. Having the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated partners, including 4ATX Foundation, the City of Austin, Soccer Assist and U.S. Soccer Foundation, has made this project even more gratifying.”
This is the second mini-pitch project involving the 4ATX Foundation. Last November, the Foundation was a partner on the Dove Springs Recreation Center futsal court in Southeast Austin, which Soccer Assist led and which also involved a number of other partners.