TwoFootedTackle has some interesting information about a new program from Chelsea Football Club and Adidas called Blue Pitches. They are basically building blue artificial turf fields in urban areas to help local kids get involved in outdoor sports, be it soccer, tennis, or basketball. What a fantastic idea:

The scheme was launched at Battersea Park School in Wandsworth, with Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, chief blazer Peter Kenyon, Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack present. There will be four pitches (like the one shown above), with Earlsfield and Eel Brook Common (both due today) following the opening of Wandsworth and World’s End.

As a resident of the Garratt Lane area, I pass the Henry Prince Estate almost every day – so they really are building a Blue Pitch on my doorstep.

The aim of the pitches, which can incorporate tennis and basketball as well as football, is to get local kids involved in grass-roots sport. Primary use will fall to the club’s community coaches, but will be free for the local community to use.

What a great idea for promoting the beautiful game in urban areas.Here is what one recently completed pitch looks like:

Battersea Tech Park after Chelsea and Adidas got done with it

Battersea Tech Park after Chelsea and Adidas got done with it

Granted, the MLS teams don’t necessarily have this kind of money floating around to do big impact projects, but partnered up with the likes of Nike, Adidas, or whoever the primariy equipment provider of the day is would have a hgue impact. The key is once the parks are built, maintaining them so they continue to be used and don’t just fall into disrepair over time

More info can be found at Chelsea’s website about the project itself and the star filled opening of one of the parks. Here is their official Blue Pitches website as well.