Atlanta’s subway soccer fields: the ‘crazy’ idea breaking down barriers
Like many good stories, this one begins with a crazy idea and a bunch of naysayers. Sanjay Patel arrived in Atlanta and wondered why it was so difficult to find a game of pick-up soccer. As far as he could see, there were no spontaneous games going on in local parks. Anything he did find was super-organized, he had to drive a car to, and – how to put this politely? – white.
As it turned out, Patel wasn’t alone in this experience. Since 1989, a local non-profit called Soccer in the Streets, run by English expat Phil Hill, had bussed kids around Atlanta in rental vans so they could play games. Money and geography meant pay-to-play academies and structured teams were out of reach for many local kids.