SEATTLE, WASH. –\\ Sounders FC and its charitable partner [RAVE Foundation](https://ravefoundation.org/) today announced, in conjunction with Black Players for Change (BPC), that the club is building a new soccer mini-pitch** at Olympic View K-8 school in the Federal Way Public School District, an initiative that aligns with the Rave Green’s mission to bring play equity to youth in Washington state through its Defend the Right to Play social justice arena for change. The official announcement took place on Wednesday, May 17 at halftime of Sounders FC’s home match against Austin FC.
The new play space – scheduled to open in September this year – is also being built in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Delta Air Lines and Federal Way Public Schools. It will be dedicated for free play and used to anchor school and community programs that use soccer to inspire wellness, learning and joy. The space will be available for student use during the school day and open to the community after school hours.
Black Players for Change (BPC) is a globally recognized and independent organization consisting of over 170 players, coaches and staff from MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society. Among its many goals, the organization strives to advance the attention on human right inequalities from protest to programs, partnerships and policies that address systemic discrimination.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to partner with such a diverse variety of forward-thinking, positive impact driven organizations,” said Quincy Amarikwa, Founder and Executive Director of BPC. “Through the ongoing collaborative efforts of RAVE Foundation, Seattle Sounders and U.S. Soccer Foundation, this mini-pitch will further our shared mission to ensure equity and access to the game of soccer.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with the RAVE Foundation, Seattle Sounders and Black Players for Change to open this new mini-pitch,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “This new mini-pitch ensures that more children have safe places to play and access to soccer programs that help them grow on and off the field.”
RAVE’s commitment to use soccer as a vehicle to support whole, healthy children of all ages from preschool to high school and serve youth in marginalized or under-resourced communities through its year-round programs has led the organization to choose Olympic View K-8. As the home of former Sounders FC First Team player and current RAVE Foundation Board of Trustees member, Lamar Neagle, Olympic View K-8 is the perfect location for the construction of the new field.
“I’m inspired and motivated by the mission of Black Players for Change and its alignment with RAVE Foundation’s mission to bring equity and access to the game of soccer,” said Lamar Neagle, RAVE Foundation Board Member and Sounders FC Alumnus. “Bringing a Black Players for Change mini-pitch to Federal Way, my hometown, is personally meaningful to me. I’m honored to represent the RAVE Foundation Board on what I know will be an ongoing partnership between these great organizations that will ultimately get more kids playing.”
Through this new milestone, RAVE continues its commitment to build 26 small fields for free play by the end of 2026 in historically marginalized communities in the state – with the target date of completion in time for FIFA World Cup 2026™ – while also investing in and around those fields that use soccer as a vehicle to support the health and well-being of youth.
“Delta Air Lines is a proud partner of Seattle Sounders FC and RAVE Foundation,” said Joan Wang, Managing Director of Delta Pacific Northwest. “The Olympic View K-8 mini-pitch marks our fifth mini-pitch project. We also support the ONE BALL = ONE MILE program through which we donate one ball for every mile a Sounders player runs during each match to youth in RAVE Field communities. We’re dedicated to serving the unique and special communities of this region and to helping RAVE bring our community together through soccer.”
Federal Way Public Schools includes 46 schools that serve a total a student population of 21,500. As of today, 70 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged and 79.3 percent are considered non-white, with 10.9 percent of students identifying as two or more races. In 2018, Federal Way Public Schools were recognized as the most diverse school district in Washington State and the fifth-most diverse school district in the nation.
To date, RAVE has built more than 13 mini-pitches throughout the region where access to free, available play-spaces is scarce, including two in Yakima at Barge-Lincoln Elementary School. A highlight this season is the expected opening of two small turf fields in NewHolly – a culturally-rich, diverse and thriving Seattle Housing Authority development located between Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley – with an inaugural ceremony scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 24.
Any media inquiries regarding RAVE Foundation and Black Players for Change initiative should be directed to Gisselle Pichardo of Sounders FC Communications [GisselleP@soundersfc.com].
ABOUT BLACK PLAYERS FOR CHANGE
Black Players for Change (BPC) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization consisting of over 170 Black players, coaches and staff from MLS, working to bridge the racial equality gap that exists in society. BPC is committed to tackling the racial injustices that have limited Black people from having an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society. Among its many goals, the organization strives to advance the attention on human rights inequalities from protest to programs, partnerships, and policies that address systemic discrimination.
For more information visit www.BlackPlayersForChange.org
ABOUT U.S. SOCCER FOUNDATION
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org
ABOUT RAVE FOUNDATION
RAVE Foundation, the official charitable partner of Sounders FC, was founded in 2013 to serve the greater Puget Sound community. RAVE Foundation’s mission is to build small fields for free play and invest in programs that use soccer as a vehicle to inspire youth and strengthen communities. By building small fields, RAVE Foundation helps remove barriers to participation, providing a place for kids to play freely, be physically active and safe, and to be inclusive stakeholders in their communities.
RAVE Foundation opened its flagship small field at Yesler Terrace Park in the heart of Seattle in 2018, kicking off the foundation’s “RAVE Fields” program, which is dedicated to opening both mini-pitch futsal courts and small soccer fields throughout the region. Field locations are chosen in an effort to support underserved communities and to provide locations for free play, as the fields may not be rented by groups or teams and must remain open to the community at all times. Recently, RAVE Foundation has invested mini pitches at the old Roxhill Elementary in Seattle, Valley Ridge Park in SeaTac, and Beverly Park Elementary in Burien, with more in the works.
Learn more at www.ravefoundation.org
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