Fields update ahead of the Municipal Elections
To all NVFC members,
Many parents ask me why their child has to practice and/or play on gravel. It’s a great question and one we have been banging on the local government doors about for 10 years. We currently have 6 turf fields, one of which – Kirkstone is undersized for 11-a-side games but good for practice. Given the amount of players we have in the club, this means as a percentage of turf fields to players, we rank bottom against all other Lower Mainland municipalities.
We currently have 3400 youth players in NVFC and 255 teams. NSGSC has approximately 2000 players. As long as the weather holds, the issue is not really grass, it’s turf. Our grass field situation, although not great, is reasonable and allows many teams to play games on a Saturday. The problem is, we are not allowed to practice on grass during the week. After years of trying, we had some success this year in persuading the DNV to allow a trial for our youngest players to practice for 2 hrs on grass up until Thanksgiving.
All coaches and parents are looking for their child to practice on turf but as you can see from the numbers above, the math doesn’t work. We have 6 turf fields and between ourselves and NSGSC, 5500 players. Most practice sessions consist of 3 or 4 teams per session The addition of just one more turf field would make a huge difference. When Fenn Burdett was added to the pool, we were able to offer more teams the opportunity for at least 1 practice per week on turf.
What we need to get to is a situation where every player has at least one practice per week on turf. At our club alone, we are about 700-1000 players away from that scenario. We believe Argyle will be online by the end of 2023. Inter River is still years away despite council voting in April 2018 to turf Field 1. The problem though is that as these fields come on board, William Griffin and Windsor will go offline as the turf is replaced. This will essentially leave the inventory the same for a year.
The solution is simple. There is an election happening in 10 days time. If you want to move your child off gravel and onto turf, you need to make your voice heard with candidates in your municipality. You need to ask hard questions why neither council has a plan for converting lit gravel fields into turf. Soccer is the largest participatory sport on the planet but it’s not just our sport that benefits from turf. Field hockey, flag football, football, Lacrosse, rugby all play on turf.
It’s time councils provided facilities for families and the ever-expanding population of our region. Recreation and sport at an affordable price are the foundation for a healthy lifestyle and a liveable community society. Ask your candidates if they have a plan. Ask the hard questions.