It’s kick-off time.
On Friday, August 25, Assemblymember Peter Abbate, the Better Chinatown USA and Chinatown Athletic announced that a new soccer league for young players has been formed,
The Brooklyn Chinese American Junior Soccer League will start as a youth league and expand depending on local interest. Games will be played at Leif Ericson field at Eighth Avenue and 65th Street.
Abbate helped secure the park permit for a series of games that will begin on Sunday, September 10.
“They’ve been trying for a long time and they finally got the field starting September 3,” said Abbate. “The kids are going to enjoy that. You can see here by their faces it’s something that they look forward to, and now they’re going to have a place where they know they can go to. Their families can come. It’s a nice setting with good parking and there’s room for the families to sit down and watch.”
He added that the community will benefit from having the league. “It’s important for the community to know that they have a place where they can send their children to learn; it’s not just playing,” she said. “It’s actually learning the sport of soccer and working with each other.”
The league plans to divide the space into three smaller fields in order to accommodate three games with different age groups, ranging from five to 16 years old.
“We haven’t started it officially but we already have 20 kids,” said Steven Tin, executive director of the Better Chinatown USA and Chinatown Athletic, stressing, “Our league is not just for Chinese Americans. We want to welcome all kids to join and enjoy.”
Although it’s early, the results have already been positive.
“It’s tremendous,” Tin said. “You see all these kids. We’ve been trying to get a regular program for this field for a long time but everyone knows this is a very demanding and popular field so it’s hard to get. Finally, with Assemblymember Abbate’s help, we were able to get a few hours on Sundays which is a great time for us to develop this program here.”
“It’s something the community really wanted,” added Abbate.