'Game changer': $1.5M all-weather sports fields coming to North Saanich
The dream of having "all-weather" sports fields on the Saanich Peninsula is one step closer to being realized.
Work is set to begin on an estimated $1.5 million project that will see two new turf soccer fields at North Saanich’s Blue Heron Park.
The Peninsula Soccer Association has been working to replace the current grass fields for more than 15 years.
The new turf fields will mean that the more than 900 members of the soccer association will no longer face cancelled practices or game times due to poor field conditions at the facility.
"It's a game changer for the Peninsula [club] because we haven’t had [an all-weather field] before, and now we will," said Peninsula Soccer Association acting president Dale West.
"It means you can play year-round, it means you can have programming that you don’t have to go elsewhere for," he said.
The soccer association has raised more than $600,000 towards the project and has received financial contributions from the Districts of North Saanich, Central Saanich and the Town of Sidney to complete the installation of the all-weather fields.
West says he expects the work on the turf fields to be completed in time for the start of the soccer season in September 2023.
He says the new fields will bring new opportunities for soccer programs and players from up and down the Saanich Peninsula.
"It's for the kids [and] it's going to give those kids an opportunity that the ones before them haven’t had," said West.
"It’s going to mean that anybody can play 24/7, 365 days of the year and going forward everyone in the community will have access to [the facility] and we’re excited that it is happening."
West says the group is continuing its fundraising efforts for other improvements to the facility. He says the association will need to purchase new soccer goals and nets in addition to new player benches.
"We’re definitely doing a lot more fundraising for the additional infrastructure, like the fencing and the benches," he said.
"We’ve got sponsorship packages that we are going to be sending out and we’re hoping for some provincial grant money."
For more information or to donate go to the Peninsula Soccer Association website.
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