Tufts University makes playing fields available to Somerville's young athletes this spring

Agreement between university and city – which includes access to new turf field – example of Tufts' commitment to strengthening host communities
Ounjian Field
Members of the Ounjian family pose on the new Ounjian Field at its dedication ceremony in October 2016. The turf field is one of the Tufts fields being used for Somerville community youth sports (Alonso Nichols, Tufts University)
April 28, 2017

For More Information or to Request a Photo from this News Release, Contact:

Robin Smyton

617.627.5392

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (April 28, 2017) -- Tufts University is providing Somerville's youth soccer and lacrosse programs with daily access to its athletic fields this spring sports season in an effort to help address a shortage of city fields. The arrangement continues Tufts' commitment to supporting the youth of the university's host communities.

An agreement between Tufts and Somerville will allow the city's young athletes to hold daily soccer practices and games on C-Field and Triangle Field and twice-weekly lacrosse practices and games on Ounjian Field, a brand new AstroTurf playing surface which opened just last fall.

The agreement continues through the season's end on June 16.

"We're deeply committed to supporting our host communities and encouraging young people to become scholar-athletes," said Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco. "We welcome our young neighbors onto the Tufts campus and look forward to continuing to build strong partnerships with the City of Somerville."

"This field access is a significant contribution that will provide great benefit to our youngest athletes as the city works to permanently increase field capacity citywide," said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. "But I'd like to commend and thank the university not just for generously opening their fields to our youth but for their many efforts to be a good community partner. The university has demonstrated time and time again their ability to think flexibly and act generously in support of our city, and on behalf of the community I thank them for that."

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 a high school basketball game between rival teams the Medford Mustangs and Somerville Highlanders.
  • The Tufts football team holds an annual coat drive each fall to benefit local children and families associated with the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
  • The Tufts men's lacrosse team also works with the Somerville Homeless Coalition to fight local homelessness and hunger by conducting an annual food and supplies drive.
  • Jumbos have hosted groups on campus and traveled to local middle schools for clinics through Level the Field, a non-profit that provides inner-city youths with opportunities to work with high-achieving collegiate student-athletes.
  • Athletes volunteer for the Cradles to Crayons program, which provides homeless and low-income children with new and like-new childhood essentials, collected through community drives and corporate donations.
  • And several of Tufts' athletic teams act as mentors for local children through Team IMPACT, a program co-founded by Tufts alumni that pairs children with severe or chronic illnesses with college athletes. 

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://www.tufts.edu/info/neighbors.

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About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.