Diaspora

New Miami soccer field named in honor of Haitian soccer legend Ernst "ZeNono" Jean-Baptiste – caribbeannationalweekly.com

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other officials has opened a new soccer field and other park improvements at Oak Grove Park.
The new soccer field was named “Ernst ‘ZeMono’ Jean-Baptiste Soccer Field”– in honor of the Haitian soccer legend – long revered by the Miami-Dade soccer community for his contributions to the development and promotion of soccer in South Florida.
The field naming is the result of a Miami-Dade County resolution sponsored by Commissioner Monestime and approved by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.
Jean-Baptiste, a living legend, played soccer for the famed Fort Lauderdale Strikers and served as a coach for the Haitian National Soccer Team. He was instrumental in organizing the historic 2004 “Game of Peace” between Brazil’s and Haiti’s national soccer teams. He also held the position of soccer coach for Miami-Dade College from 1984 to 1989, taking the team to the national championship finals twice.
In addition to the new synthetic turf soccer playing field, complete with new sports field lighting, the improvements include a field drainage system, free Wi-Fi, new bleachers, enhanced landscaping, and ADA-accessible updates to the 21.71-acre park, which is home to the Father Gerard Jean Juste Community Center. In addition to the Community Recreation Center, existing park amenities include tennis courts, a recreational swimming pool, a splash pad, a playground, and walking paths.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Levine Cava said, “This new soccer field is a wonderful addition to Oak Grove Park, which is the heart of this community. We are proud of the great work that Miami-Dade Parks is doing across the parks system to create more spaces for children and families to stay active and develop an appreciation for the outdoors. Accessible green spaces are key to building strong, healthy, and resilient communities. Soccer is a key way to bring the community together and this new asset will benefit the young and young at heart.”
“I am very pleased to see this new development at Oak Grove Park,” said Miami-Dade District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime. “Given this community’s passion for the sport of soccer, the new field improvements will surely enhance the experiences of those who enjoy playing and watching the sport.”
Miami-Dade Parks completed the project in collaboration with DN’A Design & Architecture, Inc. and HG Construction Development & Investment, Inc.
 
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