Soccer field

The mini soccer field is almost complete in Alton

ALTON – A Mini-Pitch football pitch is within two weeks of completion in Alton.

This week, steel framing was installed for the Mini-Pitch football field in the southeast corner of Rock Springs Park, 2116 College Ave., Alton. The project is funded by the Rotary Club of Alton-Godfrey.

Damian Jones, executive director of Student Athletes Leading Tomorrow, said he was working with the United States Soccer Foundation to create more mini-pitch opportunities.

A resident of the Riverbend area for nearly 20 years, Jones graduated from the School of Architecture at Louisiana State University and received his law degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He began his legal career focusing on the areas of construction litigation and dispute resolution, as well as construction management.

Jones competed both regionally and nationally in tennis as a youngster. As an athlete, he was struck by the reality that many children’s needs for engagement in sports and an active lifestyle are not being met.

According to Jones, the program he is working on is called Safe Places to Play.

“They (USSF) identify underused or abandoned properties, usually in urban or densely populated areas where a full-size football field would not be available,” he said.

The Mini-Pitch soccer field is intended for community use, according to Jones. The land will be located on the edge of Alton Middle School property to provide the opportunity for collaboration with the Alton School District.

“He ticks several boxes,” Jones said. “It’s in our public park, and it’s easily accessible on foot or by bike to a number of communities.”

Ground was broken for the project on August 24; the Mini-Pitch is built by members of the Rotary Club of Alton-Godfrey.

As the name suggests, the pitch is smaller than a typical football pitch. According to Jones, it will be about the size of a tennis court. The total cost of its construction is approximately $120,000.

A ribbon cutting for the Mini-Pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, October 22 at Rock Spring Park, barring inclement weather.

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