The first-ever Youth Soccer Day kicked off a celebration of play and community at FDR Park on Saturday, March 26! Families, soccer teams, and friends came out the Boathouse Lawn for a day of soccer activities, kayak tours, music, food, a visit from the Philadelphia Union team and mascot, and to celebrate future plans to bring high-quality recreational areas to the park.
“For all that FDR Park offers today, changes are necessary to ensure that our youth, future generations of Philadelphians, will be able to enjoy this park as much as we have over the years,” said Maura McCarthy, Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Executive Director. “The FDR Park Plan is a vision that makes FDR Park a Park for Everyone, creating space for meaningful environmental restoration, new vistas to explore, and high-quality places to play!”
Fairmount Park Conservancy was joined by Mayor Jim Kenney, Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Representative Regina Young, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, and Chris Branscome of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer for a brief speaking program to highlight the importance of uplifting the city’s youth soccer community.
Luis Uribe, head coach of Lobos Soccer Club, shared his personal story of how at FDR Park he found community and a place to play his favorite sport. “Growing up in Mexico, fútbol was a big part of family and community life. After making Philadelphia my home, playing in games at FDR Park was one of the first ways I began to build a community in my new country. I started this club because I wanted my daughter and her friends to experience that same joy and camaraderie that I did as a child playing soccer. That is why we welcome initiatives like the planned FDR Park renovations, which will change the game for South Philly’s volunteer youth sports coaches and children and increase access to the park’s beautiful nature.”
To learn more about the recreational areas planned for FDR Park, view this project overview.