The outdoor space at the Boys & Girls Club in Scotts Valley has a brand-new turf playfield thanks to a partnership between the San Francisco 49ers and Bothman Construction with funding from an NFL Foundation grant.
The new Turf Fitness Zone project converted part of the asphalt space at the Joe & Linda Alberti Clubhouse branch of the club into a wind-protected turf field for its members - youth age 6 to 18. The turf field features NCAA quality fencing to keep stray soccer balls from bouncing into the adjacent Carbonera Creek and a water spray element to cool off the kids on hot days.
On Friday, May 31, former 49er football players Joe Nedney, Dennis Brown, and Ian Williams along with their mascot, Sourdough Sam, set up soccer nets, signed hats and t-shirts for the kids and participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony along with representatives of the club, Bothman Construction, Scotts Valley Chamber and Scotts Valley City Council.
Boys & Girls Club director Maia Yates said, "It's been 3 months that we've all been working together." Speaking about Bothman Construction she said, "It's a family-owned company. That's pretty neat because I feel like our organization here is a family as well."
Brian Bothman said, "This is the 7th project we've done with the Niners. Hat's off to the Niners, they're the ones who started this whole thing. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be on a lot of these projects helping people out. There are also a lot of vendors and suppliers behind the scenes. Sportsfield Specialties donated all the netting, windscreens and brand-new soccer goals. The fencing guys did a great job." Bothman said that the water spray feature was added after he watched Yates drag a 300-foot hose from the far side of the clubhouse to the play area on recent hotter days to cool the kids off. "The benches were donated by San Jose State," he said.
Former 49er kicker and Scotts Valley resident Joe Nedney described the difference between the old astroturf that he remembered playing on and this newer, cooler turf. "The old turf used to get really hot, so this is a cool thing to happen. Having a field like this when you stand on it, it's not as hot. So that's awesome."
Regarding the club, Nedney said, "I've seen this place be a Google car parking lot, an RV camper sales lot, a Christmas tree lot. But now it's the most important thing that it's ever been which is the Boys & Girls Club. It is so neat to see. You guys can play games, you can get on computers, come out here and run around, shoot some hoops. Instead of being stuck inside you can get out and sweat and run around and I think that's awesome."
Yates said, "We are so thankful to have this project come to our community, our family here in Scotts Valley and especially for the kids. I am so blown away by the positive attitude. Everyone has been so supportive. The community of Scotts Valley coming out to help us clean and get this prepped and ready to go. All the parents, all the kids, it's a community event for sure."
The 49ers PREP division of its foundation supports programs and projects that offer physical fitness and health opportunities for youth around the Bay Area. Their objective is to teach children how to work in teams, set goals, and live healthy lifestyles in a fun and safe environment.
The NFL Play 60, grant provider and a program of the nonprofit NFL Foundation, commits funding for new equipment, refurbished play spaces and activity-based programming to organizations whose missions are to offer after school physical activity and health and wellness education programs.