EAST POINT, Ga. — Tyler Perry Studios wasn’t the only place in East Point with cause to celebrate this past weekend. Downtown East Point became the third city in as many years to open their very own SoccerStation. Making it also the third city in the world to belong to the very first transit soccer league started by Soccer in the Streets.
Director of Strategic Projects of Soccer in the Streets, Sanjay Patel shared his thoughts with My East Point News as he playfully kicked a neon green soccer ball around the unblemished field.
“My family had moved from Africa to England and so I was a minority but when I was on the soccer field, that was the equalizer. The two biggest hurdles for a lot of marginalized communities and people across the country are affordability and transportation and so we try to have solutions for that by providing free soccer programs.”
This Atlanta-based non-profit has partnered up with organizations such as Atlanta United, MARTA as well as the city of Atlanta and other local municipalities to make the sport of soccer accessible to underprivileged youth around the city.
The Mayor of East Point, Deana Holiday Ingraham was also onhand to join Patel in a friendly volley of the soccer ball. She spoke about her impressions of the initiative and what it will mean for the city.
“We had an extremely multicultural, multigenerational crowd here to celebrate our grand opening on Saturday,” Ingraham beamed, “This is really a true destination in our city that’s bringing vibrancy but also a major sense of connecting community right here in the heart of downtown East Point.
The occasion was kicked off with a community block party that saw hundreds in attendance. Soccer aficionados and local residents both young and old arrived to enjoy the field. The vibe on location was described as ‘electric.’ For more information about league games and Soccer in the Streets, visit their website.
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