The St. Maarten Football Federation (SXMFF), in cooperation with Rainforest Adventures NV (Rainforest), the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), the Royal Belgian Football Association, UEFA and CONCACAF invested in the construction of a mini-football field at Emilio Wilson Park in Philipsburg. This project is part of the Early Recovery Program to reconstruct the Island after the hurricane Irma of last year September. AstroTurf Europe delivered the turf and installation materials for this pitch and handled the delivery and installation of the materials on site, which also includes fencing and flood lighting.

The pitch is installed to promote soccer on the island of St. Maarten by getting more young people to the pitch to hone their skills and develop their athletic abilities. The Donation of the field helps SXMFF to boost their activities with the surrounding 8 schools, to set-up after-school football activity with the KNVB WorldCoaches program and also to rent the field in the evenings to senior teams which pay to play. Maintenance and repair will be paid from the joint activities. The mini-pitch suits the development of soccer perfectly, as it is getting faster, more technical and more dependent on technology, which is well perceived by the younger generation.

On September 6th (exactly one year after Irma hurt the Island badly) the pitch was officially opened by SXMFF. The opening was attended by WorldCoaches ambassadors Johan Neeskens and Stanley Menzo, both former internationals of the Dutch national team. 17 World Coaches are trained to guide the young players and they can now start to organize school competitions and trainings on this facility. Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops, had a sneak-preview on September 4th and played with children in a festive soccer clinic on the newly installed pitch.

“All stakeholders in this unique project are very satisfied by the pitch of AstroTurf Europe. We know the people of AstroTurf Europe for many years and we know they only install the best for our projects”, according to Johan van Geijn of KNVB, Expert on International CSR-partnerships.

AstroTurf Europe is very proud being selected by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) to be part of this program and to contribute to the development of the athletes of St. Maarten.

Project in the media