Atlanta United kicks off mini soccer pitch in Hogansville
Published 9:45 am Tuesday, October 3, 2023
On Saturday, Pioneer Youth in Hogansville and Atlanta United Football Club kicked off the new mini-soccer pitch at the youth center.
The project was funded through the Atlanta United Community Fund, which launched a statewide mini-pitch program. The goal of the program is to construct at least 100 mini-pitches across the state leading into the 2026 World Cup.
Pioneer Youth Inc. in Hogansville was the recipient of one of the mini-pitches. The pitch was installed last year, but the city hosted a grand opening over the weekend to officially celebrate the mini-pitch with representatives from Atlanta United.
Atlanta United FC defenders Miles Robinson and Brooks Lennon were on hand for the event to kick the ball around, take selfies and sign autographs.
Hogansville Mayor Jake Ayers said the mini-pitch was a long time in the making, but he is proud to help bring the pitch to the children of Hogansville with the help of Atlanta United.
“There is no greater impact that we can have on our community than when we choose to pour our time, our effort and our resources into the next generation,” Ayers said.
“They are making these efforts all over the state in order to pour back into underprivileged communities,” Ayers said. “When they heard about our vision with Pioneer Youth, to try to pour into the kids here, they said this is the type of vision that we want to be a part of.”
Ayers said Pioneer Youth is open five days a week to provide an after-school program for kids of all ages. It’s predominantly older elementary and middle school kids, but plenty of high schoolers come through the program as well.
“It’s a free program, so we raise funds to try to have the staff to get volunteers, mentors and that kind of thing from here in the town,” Ayers said.
“The pitch has actually been here for probably close to a year now, but it just took that much time to actually get it complete to where they felt comfortable having kind of a grand opening,” Ayers said, noting they also wanted to schedule the opening so that Atlanta United could participate.
“This is exactly why we set out with this program to begin with, to bring access in space families across the state of Georgia that otherwise may not have the opportunity,” Marissa Ahrens, Atlanta United Director of Community Engagement.
Pioneer Youth is located in the Historic Mill Village on Granite Street in Hogansville. The youth center is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit pioneeryouth.org.