ESPN, local orgs build, open multifunctional sports space in San Juan
At a virtual event on Aug. 17, ESPN and partners officially opened a newly transformed multifunctional sports space dedicated to the local community and its residents.
The site is the 10th in the global “Built to Play” project series, led by ESPN. Partners on the project include the local community, with love.fútbol, Coaches Across Continents, the YMCA of San Juan, the Puerto Rico Tennis Association (PRTA), and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
While ESPN does not provide individual project investment figures, it confirmed that over the course of the last six years and the 10 global projects done to date, it has invested more than $3 million in the “ESPN Built to Play” initiative, News is my Business confirmed.
Encompassing a revitalization and beautification of courts located at the YMCA San Juan, the space is designed to provide a safe place to play for the surrounding community and to offer ongoing programming using the power of sports to educate young people on key local and personal development issues.
“I have always believed that we do our best work when we can use the power of the ESPN brand to serve as an agent of change and bring positive impact to communities,” said Freddy Rolón, vice president of ESPN’s programming and acquisitions.
“We were pleased to bring ‘ESPN Built to Play’ to the YMCA of San Juan and to collaborate with love.fútbol, Coaches Across Continents, the local community, the YMCA and the PRTA to provide a space in a community where there is a need and where it can truly make a difference. I know that it will continue to be a focal point for this community for many years to come; a place where kids can play sports, have fun, learn, and thrive,” he said.
By fostering a more inclusive community and ensuring quality programming, this space will serve as a hub for local youth to play, participate in skills-development programs, and grow, project officials said.
The project engages the G8 community and YMCA members through a variety of sports —including new opportunities to play and learn through tennis and football — and activities for different ages, but mainly targeting boys and girls aged six to 15-years-old. Parents will also be part of the process.