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Our Soccer Field

A Space for the power of play.

Thanks to the advocacy and dedication of our students, staff, and amazing community, OIHS students now have their own soccer field!

After the campaign.

Proposed Plan

We would like to create "Temescal Fields" - a multi-sport recreational space at Oakland International High School:

  • The dual-use facility would include building a soccer field to serve the needs of the students of Oakland International High School while preserving the current baseball field.
  • Convert the current baseball only facility to a dual purpose baseball-softball facility. This would allow Oakland Tech’s baseball and softball teams to share the fields.
  • Add a retractable outfield fence to accommodate the different needs of high school baseball, softball and little league. The fence would also retract in order to create a full size soccer field.
  • Allow for the community’s use of the soccer, softball, and baseball facilities when it is not in use by OUSD sports teams.
  • Add lights for nighttime/evening use and improved safety along 48th Avenue.
  • The field will also be available for use by the community and leagues such as the Jack London Youth Soccer League, and the Alameda-Contra Costa Youth Soccer League.
  • During the non-baseball season, the field will transform into a full size soccer field and will be the home field for OIHS soccer.
  • During the baseball season, the baseball/softball field will serve as Oakland Tech’s home field.
  • Additionally, on weekends, little league groups such as North Oakland/South Oakland Little League, Oakland Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth Baseball League, the Metropolitan Junior Baseball Team and American Legion Baseball will continue to have access to the field for community games.
  • The fields at Oakland International High School will maximize resources and serve as many students and community members as possible.

During the campaign.

Why do we need a field?

  • 7 years ago, Oakland Tech’s baseball community came together to create a beautiful and amazing field for their players. Unfortunately, they located their field behind our school, converting the old PE field space into a baseball field. We say unfortunately, because it has had a terrible impact on our school’s sports programing.
  • At Oakland International, we play soccer, not baseball. Soccer is an international sport that brings all cultures together. At OIHS, we are crazy about the sport. There are 90 of us that play each week, including 30 girls that are playing on the first team of their lives.
  • Our biggest problem is we don’t have a field to play with any regularity. When we are allowed, we practice on the outfield of the baseball field. However, we are not allowed to use the field for much of the year. For 5-6 months, OIHS has no dedicated field space for soccer practice.
    • Between February and June of baseball season, we cannot practice because Oakland Tech baseball exclusively uses the field.
    • In November and December we can’t use the field because it is being reseeded - for Oakland Tech baseball. 
  • Sometimes we are provided with 2 days a week of field space at Oakland Tech. However, many times, we have no place to play at all. For example, in November and December of this year, we had no alternative except to play on a concrete lot for 10 weeks. Unfortunately, this can cause terrible injuries if someone falls. 

The situation seems really unfair.

  • Why is Oakland Tech baseball controlling access to the only field at OIHS?
  • Why don’t we have access to a field at our own school?
  • If Oakland Tech baseball players deserve their own beautiful field behind our school, can’t we have a soccer field?
  • Isn’t there a way for us all to have access to quality sports facilities?

During the campaign.

Issues Addressed

Access for immigrant and refugee students to safe, quality recreational facilities

Throughout Oakland, recently arrived refugee and immigrant students are less likely then their American born peers to access programs and facilities for recreational activities. The OIHS Soccer Field will be the only space in Oakland that newcomer youth have a sense of ownership and feel at home, and where recently arrived families can regularly access

Community safety and community involvement

Community safety is a much debated issued in the Temescal community. We believe community safety can only be achieved if we provide more resources, more programs and more support for our youth. The OIHS Soccer Field will provide youth with a safe place for structured activities. The field will also attract more people into the neighborhood, benefiting local businesses and engaging more people in the OIHS community.

Gender equity in sports participation

Currently, the Oakland Tech Baseball field only provides access for baseball, a sport only played by boys. Title IX mandates that girls have equal access to athletic opportunities and facility use as boys. As a multipurpose field, the OIHS Soccer Field will encourage girls participation in sports. Not only will more girls play soccer because of easier/safer access to field space, the field will also be available for girls sports from Oakland Tech and the broader community after OIHS use hours.

OIHS students will have year round field access

With the addition of a soccer field, OIHS students will have access to a PE and soccer practice space year round.

Critical lack of field space in Oakland

Field space in Oakland is a precious commodity. Many of the youth who could benefit most from sports programming are excluded from playing sports because there is no place for programs to happen. Our kids need more places to play, the OIHS Soccer Field has the opportunity to provide field access for 1,000 kids per week.

During the campaign.


Soccer is my love, passion, and the soccer team is my family. Having space to play in at our school will keep us safe and will reduce the danger of playing on the cement or the danger of going far away from school to practice. Gaby – Guatemala, Age 17
Soccer is more than just a sport. We identify ourselves with soccer. Being at my school team helped when I first came to America. I felt that here is where I belong to. I wish that by building the field you help more other students. Abednego – Guatemala, Age 17
Remembering one year ago when I first arrived to United States, I wasn't able to speak much of English. Today I say thank you to my soccer team. You have helped adapt with the new life here. Having the field at our school will definitely make it easier for many other students to come and participate. Mohammed – Yemen, Age 18
I love soccer. I love it so much I can’t describe. 95% of the world loves soccer. We have immigrants from all the countries. Soccer makes us a big family. We are on the same team here. We want a field because we have been practicing on the cement. Sometimes we fear we will be hurt, and it’s not comfortable. On turf, if you fall, you will be fine. Alexander – Eritrea, Age 18
I grew up in a refugee camp in Thailand. They only had boys’ soccer there. I learned to play soccer here starting in 9th grade. I want to improve my skills. Now we don’t have a place to practice. Aye Htoo – Burma, Age 18
I think soccer is a very powerful universal language. It gives us the opportunity to connect with one another without really sharing verbal communication. In the world of sports not everyone speaks the same language so not everyone is able to connect with each other. Soccer give you that opportunity. I think there is a lot of reason why soccer is important, but one of the most important thing about soccer is the power to make friends. Coach Tet – Burma, Age 21

After the campaign.

Soccer Program

Soccer plays a unique role at Oakland International High School. While OIHS students speak more than 32 different first languages, they all share the language of soccer. Through soccer, OIHS students build authentic cross-cultural relationships that play a key role in helping new students adjust to their lives in the US. These friendships carry over to the school day, proving vital in helping de-escalate conflict and building a harmonious school environment.

Since 2007, OIHS has partnered with the Oakland-based non-profit organization Soccer Without Borders (SWB) to lead soccer programming at the school. SWB uses soccer as a vehicle of positive change, providing refugee and immigrant youth a toolkit for growth, inclusion and personal success. At OIHS, SWB leverages students’ passion for soccer to ensure they are successful off the field. Since 2008, 95% of regular participants in the SWB program have graduated from OIHS. Since 2008, more than 200 female OIHS students have been supported to join their first ever organized sports team. In spite of the successes of the soccer program at OIHS, the lack of consistent facilities has proven to be a tremendous barrier. With Temescal Fields, the potential of soccer to help OIHS students and other Oakland youth to reach their full potential will expand significantly.


Soccer Without Borders | East Bay Refugee Forum | Albany-Berkeley Soccer Club | Senda Athletics | Bridgelux Lighting | Monclair Soccer Club | Life Academy | Alternatives in Action | Coliseum College Prep Academy | CCPA

During the campaign.