NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS CLUB (NSC) has released a powerful short film titled "Play Anywhere," which poignantly highlights the pressing issue of limited and inaccessible field space for the burgeoning football community in the Oakland and greater Bay Area. The film, written and produced by NSC, aims to draw attention to the challenges faced by local football enthusiasts who often find themselves without proper facilities to play the sport they love.
The heart of the issue lies in the lack of available, well-maintained fields, and the disheartening reality of some decent fields being locked up or inaccessible due to prohibitive costs. In response to this predicament, NSC's co-founder, Dylan, takes matters into his own hands, setting out on a mission to create a dream street football pitch in an undisclosed location (think FIFA Street). This unique pitch is envisioned as a place where community leaders, along with renowned athletes and artists such as Jeremy Ebobisse, Dani Weatherholt, Jasko Begovic, and Chelsea Gray, come together to assemble teams for the ultimate pick-up game.
"Play Anywhere" is not just a film; it's a powerful message that resonates with the football community in the Bay Area and beyond. The title itself encapsulates the spirit of the film—despite the lack of traditional fields, the football community can adapt and find ways to play anywhere, as long as they have a ball, lines to mark the pitch, and the support of their community.
The film also brings to light the evolving sports landscape in Oakland and the East Bay. Over the past few years, the area has bid farewell to iconic sports teams such as the Warriors and Raiders, and there are uncertainties surrounding the A's future. In this context, football has emerged as a driving force in the Bay Area, with the rise of teams like the Oakland Roots and Soul, Bay FC, and NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS CLUB. However, the surge in interest has outpaced the availability of suitable playing fields, creating an urgent need for accessible and well-maintained spaces.
NSC's vision extends beyond the short film. The organisation has ambitious plans to establish a dedicated space in East Bay—a 5v5 field, cafe + bar, and retail space—that will serve as a central hub for football culture and community not only in the Bay Area but also beyond. The proposed space aims to address the dearth of football facilities, offering a welcoming and affordable environment for football enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.
As the "Play Anywhere" film gains traction, NSC hopes to rally support from the local community, organisations, and authorities to address the issue of field scarcity and advocate for improved infrastructure. By showcasing the passion and determination of the football community, the film serves as a catalyst for change, inspiring collective efforts towards building a more inclusive and thriving football culture in the Oakland and greater Bay Area.
Accompanying the release of the short film is a special "Play Anywhere" T-shirt, which complements the spirit of the project. Lifestyle photos from the T-shirt shoot capture the essence of the football community and its commitment to overcoming challenges together.
"Play Anywhere" is a poignant reminder that football is not just a sport; it is a unifying force that can transcend obstacles, bringing people together to play, compete, and forge lasting connections. With NSC at the forefront of this movement, the football community.
Find more from NEIGHBORHOOD SPORTS CLUB here.