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ESPN builds and dedicates multi-functional recreation space in Western Sydney

ESPN builds and dedicates multi-functional recreation space in Western Sydney
March 1, 2019

Community leaders, local residents, and youth gathered in the Western Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt yesterday to participate in the opening of a new, multifunctional sport and recreation space dedicated to the local community and its residents.

Part of a global initiative by Disney-owned sports entertainment broadcaster ESPN, the Built to Play facility is the eighth in the global project and the first undertaken by ESPN in Sydney.

The courts and surrounding area, refurbished with the help of community residents and ESPN and Disney employees, aim to  provide a safe place to play for the surrounding community, as well as offer ongoing programming using the power of sport to educate young people on key local issues. Community sport and recreation development organisations, Coaches Across Continents and Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) NSW will deliver programs on the new space.

Hosted by ESPN sports reporter and commentator, Stephanie Brantz, the event was attended by Haydn Arndt, General Manager, ESPN ANZ and Disney Media Distribution, along with ESPN and Disney employees and community volunteers who helped build the space, as well as local residents and their families. The celebration was comprised of cultural performances, special recognition of community leaders who volunteered their time, as well as sports matches open to the community.

Introducing the Built to Play initiative, Arndt stated “at ESPN, we believe that sport has the ability to transform lives, and we are committed to providing resources to enable kids in Sydney to play sports.

“We’re pleased to bring this global project to Mt. Druitt and to collaborate with love.fútbol, PCYC NSW, and Coaches Across Continents, to create this space in a community where there is a need, as it can truly make a difference.”

love.fútbol, which is known for building community sports facilities all over the world, played a key role in selecting Mount Druitt for the new space based on need, population served and socio-economic status.

The area has an unemployment rate over 13% higher than the Greater Sydney average, alongside a number of social challenges in the area including drugs and alcohol abuse, high crime levels, insufficient transportation and limited services for youth.

PCYC Chief Executive, Dominic Teakle added “we are fortunate to have such significant support from ESPN, Disney, love.fútbol and Coaches Across Continents who share our vision of empowering young people.

“Participation in sport is a powerful tool for change. It allows young people to feel part of a team and that sense of belonging gives them the support to face their challenges both physical and mental. PCYC sits at the heart of most NSW communities and this facility will enable us to better serve the community of Mount Druitt.”

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8th August 2018 - NSW Police Commissioner launches new strategy to redivert disengaged youth

8th June 2018 - PCYC NSW set for record funding injection

24th May 2018 - Disney secures naming rights at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium

22nd May 2018 - Decline in family spending on out-of-school children’s sport and physical activity in 2017

2nd February 2018 - PCYC NSW launches internet safety help for parents and children

22nd September 2017 - Free entry to mark openings of Mount Druitt and Riverstone Swimming Centres

20th September 2017 - PCYC NSW openings continue with Hornsby facility unveiling

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17th February 2012 - PCYC NSW celebrates 75 years


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