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ALTON – The new Mini-Pitch Soccer facility in Alton at 2116 College Avenue had a well-attended celebration and ribbon cutting on Saturday afternoon. The new mini-pitch was led by Damian Jones and Student-Athletes Leading Tomorrow or SALT, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The Alton-Godfrey Rotary, the Simmons Hanly Conroy Firm, and many others contributed to the new mini-pitch close to Alton Middle School in Rock Springs Park.

This mini-pitch court is one of more than 500 mini-pitches nationwide fostered by the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s It’s Everyone’s Game movement to ensure children in underserved communities can enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game.

Mini-pitch court is made possible thanks to the support from U.S. Soccer Foundation, Student Athletes Leading Tomorrow, The Alton Rotary Club, the Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC, and the City of Alton.

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Jones said this is a grand vision he had about four years and at that time he thought wouldn't it be awesome to get a mini-pitch in Alton? Once the U.S. Soccer Foundation committed and the others joined in support it became a reality because of Jones' dedication and will to the project.

“The mini-pitch in Alton is the first court of its kind in the region,” he added. “I have been working on it almost every day the past four years and I am so proud it has become a reality in Alton."

Special guests at the Saturday event were Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation, and City of Alton Mayor David Goins.

Students from Alton High School’s soccer teams celebrated the opening of the new mini-pitch court by playing in an inaugural scrimmage. Area college soccer coaches served as guest coaches.

Ron Mayhew of the Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club said he believes the mini-pitch will be a big success in the region and it will attract many from Alton Middle School to make the short walk from school and participate. He said this is just another in many Alton-Godfrey Rotary service projects the group has participated in over the years and the club was proud to be a part of the new mini-pitch.

More to come on Tuesday about Alton's Mini-Pitch from Jones and Mayhew.

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