Community to celebrate new mini-soccer pitches at Wendell Park

New mini-soccer pitches were completed in August at Wendell Park in Richmond as part of a partnership involving the city, Target and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. (Photo credit: Mike Kinney)

The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new mini-soccer pitches at Wendell Park in Richmond this Saturday.

The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. till noon at the park at 24th Street and Wendell Avenue, according to the city.

Completed in late August, the two mini-soccer pitches and other enhancements were funded by the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Target in partnership with the city.

“One of the greatest barriers to our sport is the lack of safe places to play,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with Target and the City of Richmond to bring this new mini-pitch to Wendell Park so that more kids and their families can have a safe place to play the game and develop critical life skills that will help them on and off the field.”

This was the latest in a series of improvements to Wendell Park. In March 2017, about 200 volunteers made improvements to the park including a new playground as part of a collaboration involving Target, KaBOOM!, Richmond Friends of Recreation, and the community. 

Target’s partnership with U.S. Soccer Foundation aims to build 100 soccer play spaces in communities across the U.S. through 2020. Target is investing $14 million in the youth soccer initiative.

Maurice Range, Recreation Program Coordinator for the City of Richmond Community Services Department, lauded the effort.

“With this new mini-pitch at Wendell Park, participants can be taught basic fundamentals, teamwork, and good sportsmanship,” Range said.

The ribbon-cutting event will include soccer demonstrations led by City staff and resident soccer coaches, words from elected officials and partners, and refreshments provided by Target.