Open Field: Unity on and off the pitch | Pittsburgh City Photos | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Open Field: Unity on and off the pitch

Pittsburgh City Photos: An exploration of the city through photographs

click to enlarge Open Field's initiative, Soccer for Social Impact, hosts their girls and boys games following 8 weeks of programs for immigrants and refugee children. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Open Field's initiative, Soccer for Social Impact, hosts their girls and boys games following 8 weeks of programs for immigrants and refugee children.
The soccer community has been one of my favorite parts of Pittsburgh during my time here. I've always played in multiple leagues and, along the way, met one of the good ones in Justin Forzano. Founder and CEO of Open Field, Forzano brought over 50 kids from Crafton Heights and Northview Heights together for eight weeks of programs, twice a week, to learn both soccer and life skills.

The games kicked off in the West End on Wednesday night with Mayor Bill Peduto stopping by to talk with the participants beforehand. Refugee and immigrant kids from Syria, Congo, Somali Bantu, as well as various other countries came together on their respective teams to compete, as well as share what they've learned throughout the program and how they plan to implement those learned lessons, both in the game of soccer and in life.

You would've thought the World Cup was being played with the way these kids lifted each other up from the sidelines or following a goal. The highlight for me was teaching one of the younger players how to use my camera. When he wasn't warming up with his team, he made sure to snap some photos of his brother. All of the teams on Wednesday night were winners, and we all have the ability to make a difference in our city and in our neighborhoods. This is just one of many positive programs we should all be supporting.


For more information on Open Field, visit openfieldintl.org.
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge Founder and CEO of Open Field, Justin Forzano, leads the girls teams before their match. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Founder and CEO of Open Field, Justin Forzano, leads the girls teams before their match.
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Pittsburgh City Photos is sponsored by Tim Gyves, agent with RE/MAX Select Realty.

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