On Saturday June 4th, over eight hundred Urban Initiatives’ Work to Play soccer players gathered at Midway Plaisance down in Hyde Park to celebrate the hard work, dedication, and success they committed to over the past nine months. An unforgettable day that epitomizes the objective of Urban Initiatives, the Work to Play Cup brings students from over thirty different communities together to interact with fellow teammates of other races and cultures while showing them the unifying importance of sports and play.
The WTPC is more than just a soccer tournament, it’s an event that promotes interactions with parents and participants throughout the day, revealing just how holistic UI’s Work to Play program is. One participant, Jarell Brown, a second grader at Beethoven Elementary spent the weeks prior improving both his grades and classroom behavior per an agreement he made with his dad to be able to attend the Work to Play Cup. Fabian Aceves, a third grader at Nathan S Davis exhibited outstanding teamwork as he frequently helped students from opposing teams recover after falling down. there we so many displays of sportsmanship and academic achievements that day, it gave everyone a glimpse into the impact of Urban Initiatives’ programs.
Among our amazing supporters and volunteers were Kirkland and Ellis, William Blair, Citadel, United, and Coca Cola. There was never a dull moment as supporters and volunteers were taught some of the hottest dance moves by participants. By the end of the day, many students displayed a colorful sleeve of wristbands they swapped from opposing teams throughout the day, creating a new team tradition! Undoubtedly, the best part of the day was the recognition that we were all gathered for a common cause: Engage a child. Energize a Community. Embrace Chicago.
Thank you to all our great sponsors for making sure every Work to Play team got the chance to play and enjoy the day. Thanks also goes out to all of our volunteers who made this day possible. It could have not been done without you! See everyone next year!