Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00
The Long Island Junior Soccer League joined The Estee Lauder Company for a fundraising event to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation recently at the Peter C. Collins Soccer Park in Plainview. Six girls teams, aged U15 through U17, as well as teams of Estee staffers and executives, took part in a series of scrimmages throughout the day to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
“This is always a great day,” said Carlos Ospina, who has run the event for Estee Lauder the past several years, and is a coach of the Lynbrook-East Rockaway Lizards. “The girls and the teams really take ownership of the event and make it a special day on so many levels, and it’s become a great tune up for the start of the fall season for many of these teams. The support the league and the soccer park have shown us is always appreciated.”
The teams that participated were Sachem Alliance (U17), Lynbrook East Rockaway Lizards (U16), Hicksville All Stars (U16), Lynbrook East Rockaway Lady Dragons (U17), Auburndale Avengers (U17), and the Sound Beach Spirit (U15)
This is the 10th year of the event. Teams of players from Estee plants and offices as far away as Pennsylvania have taken part in the event, as well as sides consisting of VP’s and executives, as well as assemblers and other plant workers. Last year, youth teams took part for the first time, playing in scrimmages throughout the day.
Plainview’s soccer park, located at 1425 Old Country Rd., serves as the epicenter of the Long Island Soccer market place. The Soccer Park hosts over 2,000 LIJSL games per year, and over 200,000 people pass through the park’s gates each year.
The LISP is home for many Catholic High Schools including St. Anthony’s, Holy Trinity, and Sacred Heart Academy. The Park also hosts the ENYSSA tryouts and finals, the Red Bull Developmental Academy tryouts and training sessions, the Estee Lauder Pink Ribbon Tournament, the Exceptional HS Seniors Games, LIJSL summer camps, and numerous other club tournaments. In addition, the Peter Collins Soccer Park serves as home for 600 players in the LIJSL Select Program and the TOPSoccer Program for children with disabilities.
A home playing facility for the Long Island Junior Soccer League was part of the vision of former league president Peter Collins. After putting together a search committee to find available tracts of land with the state, county, and local townships, league ambassador George Hoffman negotiated a deal for the current location in Plainview, which was a United States Government veteran’s facility that was no longer in operation. The 1994 World Cup left the USSF with money to be dedicated to promoting soccer and constructing new playing facilities. The Long Island Soccer Park Corporation was set up and received a grant. The ENYYSA also provided funding.
By 1996, two major size fields were built, along with small fields for the special children’s program. Two years later, the park was expanded to five full sized fields, and in 2001, Mike Clarke of the LIJSL took over management of the park, including maintenance, operations, and coordination of all events. Soon, an administrative office, concession stand, and electrical service were added to the property, and the park grew to seven full playing fields covering approximately 17 acres.
Thanks to the persistence and hard work of Collins, new LIJSL President Addie Mattei-Iaia asked the LIJSL Board of Directors to rename the complex Peter C. Collins Park in 2008.
The park continues to serve the growing needs of many LIJSL programs. It is truly a monument to one man’s dream and plays a vital role in fulfilling the mission of the league.