UEFA Foundation & Lay’s team up to open first RePlay pitch in USA!

The opening of the Santa Ana pitch is the sixth Lay’s RePlay Pitch to open worldwide, following South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Mexico. These sustainable pitches, partially made of reused Lay’s chip bags make them a zero net carbon footprint initiative, provide underserved communities with access to a state-of-the-art facility and to the beautiful game.

Thanks to the partnership between UEFA Foundation for Children, Lay’s RePlay, and Common Goal, the latest installation in Santa Ana will help drive positive outcomes for both people and the planet. The initiative builds on work done by the UEFA Foundation for Children and Lay’s that delivered three pitches in the Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps in 2017 and 2018 and have since provided 35,000 people access to football.

Urs Kluser, general secretary for UEFA Foundation for Children, said, “Lay’s has been such an incredible partner to work with over the years and we are thrilled to support bringing the Lay’s RePlay programme into the U.S. Through our partnership, we are able to put our best resources forward and work together to gather communities around the world through the joy of the sport.”

Bringing football to Santa Ana’s Hispanic community

According to a study by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, the Hispanic community in Santa Ana was one of the hardest impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both on a health and economic level. The field, located at Cesar Chavez Campesino Park in Santa Ana was selected due to the areas rich Hispanic heritage with the goal of providing affordable access to football and education.

The opening ceremony was attended by former American star Mia Hamm and LA Galaxy striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

Mia Hamm, FIFA World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, said, “As a UEFA ambassador, I am proud to be a voice for Lay’s RePlay. Having access to community gathering spaces and safe playing fields must be a top priority for young people across the world. Football continues to see incredible growth, and with the Hispanic community being the fastest growing segment of our population – and arguably the most passionate about the game – beginning the Lay’s RePlay U.S. expansion in a key area like Santa Ana is a powerful moment.”

Chicharito, Major League Soccer player and LA Galaxy striker, said, “The pipeline for healthy lives in the Hispanic community expands greatly when you have access to quality fields and equipment, and the Lay’s RePlay programme is a game-changer. As someone who lives and plays in Southern California, I’m looking forward to seeing the joy this field brings to families across the area.”

The Santa Ana field opens in conjunction with the City of Santa Ana and Pure Game, a local non-profit that teaches children life skills through mentorship and sports-based character education.

Ciara Dilley, PepsiCo’s vice president of marketing for global food brands, said, “Since 2021, Lay’s RePlay has had the privilege of creating beautiful football fields and programming to share with deserving communities across the globe. From South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico to the United Kingdom, we’ve been able to see the tremendous impact this programme brings to aspiring athletes and families around the world – uniting people through a common love of soccer, providing a safe space to foster togetherness and minimising our impact on the earth. We are so honored to be able to play such a significant role in furthering the football journeys of young people here in the community of Santa Ana with the launch of our first Lay’s RePlay football field in the U.S.!”

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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