The Annenberg Foundation Unveils 'PITCH:AFRICA' A Rainwater Harvesting System Designed for Soccer and Community Space

By The Annenberg Foundation, PRNE
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First-ever PITCH:AFRICA Will Be Built in South Africa

LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2010 - As the world's attention is on South Africa and the World Cup finals, the
Annenberg Foundation introduces PITCH:AFRICA, a first-of-its-kind rainwater
harvesting and filtering system built into a football pitch (soccer playing

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

    (Photo: )
    (Photo: )

PITCH:AFRICA is an innovative rainwater harvesting system designed by
Atopia Research to provide clean water on a regular basis where water is
scarce or unavailable throughout Africa and other parts of the world. After
several years of research and development, the system is ready for
production. To illustrate the concept, a life-size model of PITCH:AFRICA was
unveiled today at an event at the Port of Los Angeles attended by community
and civic leaders.

At the unveiling of PITCH:AFRICA, the Annenberg Foundation announced its
plans to work with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP).
Founded by Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, CTAOP works to create safer
and healthier communities for the children and people of South Africa. The
two organizations are exploring a location in South Africa to build the first

Wallis Annenberg, chairman and president of the Annenberg Foundation
comments, "After years of research on this concept, we are ready to build the
first one in South Africa. We are delighted to have the Charlize Theron
Africa Outreach Project help us choose a location based on their work in the

Background on PITCH:AFRICA

In 2008, the Annenberg Foundation began its support of the research and
development of PITCH: AFRICA by ATOPIA Research, led by founders Jane
and David Turnbull. ATOPIA Research focuses on innovative solutions
to global issues promoting sustainable development.

Jane Harrison and David Turnbull of ATOPIA add, "PITCH:AFRICA is a
man-made eco-system, which is implanted into an existing environmental
eco-system to heal the land, transform lives, build businesses and teach the
next generation that they can live well, while addressing issues of gender,
food scarcity, water needs and health."


PITCH:AFRICA is centered around a street soccer venue approximately 64' x
80' and seats up to 1,000 people. The structure captures rainwater as it
falls onto the playing field and surrounding seating areas. The water is
stored beneath the soccer surface in cisterns. The water then undergoes a
filtration process before it is distributed and used for drinking, cooking,
washing and farming. PITCH:AFRICA also creates community space underneath the
seating area which can be used to house a school, a health clinic, meeting
rooms and even a local market.

Over One Million Gallons of Clean Water

It can rain between three and six feet during a typical rainy season in
tropical and temperate regions of Africa. In areas with five feet of rain
annually, one PITCH can capture as much as 1.8 million liters of water that
would otherwise be lost. This is enough water to meet the daily drinking
needs of 1,000 people every day for a full year. PITCH is a sustainable and
cost-effective alternative or complement to existing efforts such as borehole
wells. Because rainwater harvesting does not have the potential of drying up,
it can provide a continuous water supply.

Uses Low-Cost Materials

The low-cost structure is designed so that its actual size and features
can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the communities it will serve.
In addition, the design allows the rainwatering system to be built using only
local materials that are readily available. For example, in Africa, abandoned
shipping containers that litter the African landscape will be used as
cisterns to capture and store rainwater. In areas where cargo shipping
containers are not available or cost effective, cisterns can be designed and
constructed using local materials.

A PITCH rainwater harvesting system can be used anywhere in the world
where it rains.

The Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation is a private family foundation that provides
funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and
globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and
youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life;
health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In
addition, the Foundation and its Board of Directors are directly involved in
the community with several projects that expand and complement its grant
support to nonprofits. Among them are innovative nonprofit capacity building
initiatives, the Annenberg Space for Photography, explore, and the Metabolic
Studio. The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being
through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this
goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to
share ideas and knowledge.

The following visuals about PITCH:AFRICA can be downloaded at

    1) One-minute video "How PITCH Works"
    2) One-minute video "PITCH Creates Community Space"
    3) A rendering of the model.

Carolyn McEwen, (o) +1-310-473-8090, (c) +1-310-699-9800, cmcewen at, or Barbara Casey, (o) +1-310-473-8090, (c) +1-310-990-0750 , bcasey at; or Liza deVilla Ameen, (o) +1-310-209-4571, (c) +1-310-903-1962, lameen at

will not be displayed