From Dirt to Turf – East LA Kids Score Big Win

October 5, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA (5 October 2011) — Today, the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles unveiled a new, first-class soccer field at its main facility located on McDonnell Avenue in East Los Angeles.  The synthetic “FieldTurf” soccer field will significantly enhance the Boys & Girls Club’s sports, fitness and recreation programs, and directly benefit more than 2,500 children served by the Club in the East Los Angeles community.  In addition, the Boys & Girls Club will also provide ongoing coached soccer programs for kids on a year-round basis.

New Field will Improve Youth Athletic and After-School Programs for East Los Angeles Community

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba poses with children at the Boys and Girls Club 

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba poses with children at the Boys and Girls Club


The field was a gift to the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC.  The initiative is part of the Embassy’s partnership with the English Premier League soccer team, Manchester City Football Club which first began when the Team toured the United States in the Summer of 2010.  

The Embassy and Manchester City have teamed up to provide deserving children access to quality playing fields in US communities along with Manchester City’s award winning and complimentary coaching and education programs.   Currently tied in points for first place in the English Premier League, Manchester City Football Club is owned by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba, Sarah Lynch, Managing Director of the Club’s community scheme, City in the Community and hundreds of kids were in attendance to celebrate the opening of the field this afternoon.

“We are incredibly fortunate and grateful for this gift,” said Anna Araujo, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles. “This field will serve this community and all our kids well for many years.  It will be an integral part of our community-based programming to enhance extracurricular activities for kids in this area.”

“Sports have an incredible ability to unite people and tangibly improve the communities they touch,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.  “We are privileged to take part in this effort to serve such an important  and deserving organization like the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles who provide services to hundreds of kids each and every day.”

In the Summer of 2011 The Manchester City team conducted its second US  Tour which was focused on Los Angeles and in other West Coast cities.  During this time, the club began to forge a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, hosting a BBQ Beach Day for more than 300 Boys & Girls’ Club members who participated in soccer clinics and beach activities with the entire Manchester City squad. The City Soccer in the Community (CSITC) program will provide ongoing support, coaching and quality programming for this community field in the years ahead.

Sarah Lynch, Managing Director of City in the Community, said:

“Social responsibility and community engagement are deep seated in Manchester City Football Club's heritage. Everyone who gets involved with our club becomes part of the 'City family,’ and for that reason, we’re delighted to extend our reach into the East Los Angeles community.”

Founded more than 60 years ago, the Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles currently serves 2,500 children in the East Los Angeles community.  Aside from sports, fitness and reaction programming, the Club also provides education & career exploration, financial literacy, and health and life skills activities for children.

About Manchester City’s Social Responsibility

Manchester City FC was founded in 1880 by the family of Arthur Connell, the first rector of the newly consecrated St Mark’s Church in West Gorton. The family believed that football can create opportunities and a sense of community, a belief that remains at the heart of the Club to this day.

25 years ago, MCFC was one of the first football clubs to set up a Community scheme, City in the Community. Each year, City in the Community works with over 200,000 people throughout Greater Manchester, with a particular focus on our local East Manchester community.

In recent years, the Club has taken its CSR programme to an international audience, creating community opportunities in the USA and the United Arab Emirates.

In the USA in 2010 the club laid a football pitch at a school in Spanish Harlem, New York, to allow the pupils to play football in a safe and secure environment. Since then, over 3,300 children every week have received coaching from City’s US based community team, City Soccer in the Community (CSITC). The scheme was such a success that the following year the club committed to creating this new field at the Boys and Girls Club of East LA.

Manchester City has been supporting its communities for over 130 years and, to this day, still aims to leave a lasting and significant legacy in all the communities which it touches.

About The United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the globe. The United States and the UAE are reliable allies, with historical and present-day shared security and economic interests. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States.  The United States and the UAE also enjoy growing social and cultural ties, and many US institutions in education, healthcare and the arts have formed collaborative partnerships with UAE entities.