MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (August 28, 2018)—Tufts University has provided Somerville Youth Athletic Programs with daily access to its athletic fields and facilities for more than 450 hours this year in an effort to address the urban space shortage. The arrangement — which has benefited sports including basketball, softball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and baseball — continues Tufts’ commitment to supporting the university’s host communities.
Sports fields and large indoor spaces can be hard to find in the town of Somerville, New England’s most densely populated municipality. Those that are available are often only available at a premium price.
An agreement between Tufts and Somerville has allowed the city’s young athletes to hold daily workouts and games indoors at Carzo Cage and Cousens gymnasiums and outdoors at Fletcher, Field C, Triangle tennis courts Field and Ounjian Fielda state-of-the-art AstroTurf playing surface.
By opening up its grounds and facilities to the community, the university is able to save the city money on facility fees and relieve congestion in other spaces in Somerville.
In addition to athletic events and workouts, Tufts hosted the Somerville Scrapheap Showdown at the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center and the Higgins Foundation’s annual fundraiser at Carzo Cage. Somerville High School also held graduation drills for the Highlander Class of 2018 at Tufts’ Gantcher Center in June.
“We are thrilled to welcome our young neighbors to the Tufts campus and encourage their athletic participation,” said Anthony P. Monaco, president of Tufts University. “Tufts is dedicated to supporting our host communities as an extension of our educational mission, and we look forward to continuing to work with the City of Somerville.”
“It is an absolute pleasure and joy to work with Tufts to ease pressures on our current fields and help address field shortages,” said Jill Lathan, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Somerville. “The city has more recreational and athletic needs than ever and given the current availability in Somerville, we could not provide space for everyone without Tufts. The staff at the university are very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We look forward to a continued partnership between Somerville and Tufts.”
Tufts supports its local communities through a variety of programs, resources and volunteer efforts, a number of which involve Tufts student-athletes. For example:
- In January, Tufts’ Cousens Gymnasium hosted the 2nd Annual Tufts Classic, boys’ and girls’ basketball games between rival teams the Medford Mustangs and Somerville Highlanders. During this year’s Classic, winter clothing was collected and donated to the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
- Tufts annually invites students from Somerville High School to campus for the “Let’s Get Ready” SAT Prep Program.
- And 13 community nonprofits in Somerville have received grants from the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund, funded by donations from university faculty and staff.
For more information on team-specific community engagement, please visit: http://www.gotuftsjumbos.com/information/saac.
To learn more about how Tufts is involved in its local communities, visit https://communityrelations.tufts.edu/.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized as one of the leading research universities in the United States. Tufts has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence and preparing students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration between faculty and students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the university’s schools is widely encouraged. .