Construction of a new artificial turf field at Fred Milne Park is in full swing, and sports officials hope to complete the project this fall.
The $1.6-million field has been in the works for years, and just under $200,000 needs to be raised now to complete the field.
Andrew Quinn-Young, who has been helping with fundraising for the field, said the new field will be beneficial to Sooke because in the winter soccer games often get cancelled because the grass field gets muddy and destroyed.
“Kids are moving away from playing soccer here because they can’t finish the soccer season,” said Quinn-Young. “So this will have a really good economical impact because it will keep people here as well as draw new people to Sooke.”
Laura Lockhart, president of the Sooke Soccer Club, said the field is important because it will allow Sooke to compete with the other soccer clubs on the Island.
“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art field,” said Lockhart. “A lot of kids have left this community because of our field closures, so I think there’s going to be a lot of positive impacts that come from this.”
Paul Clarkston, volunteer project manager of the field, has been hard at work on the field for the past seven months.
“It’s been pretty exciting to see a big amenity in Sooke be built with more or less volunteer efforts,” said Clarkston.
Although the project is moving forward quickly, local groups are still looking for all the help they can get to reach the goal of opening the field at the end of September.
“This has been an absolutely massive job, but having been involved in soccer and lived in Sooke my whole life, I was due to commit some effort in a volunteer sense, so that’s why I took this on.” said Clarkston.
“I’m just excited to see the kids say “wow” and to see all their smiles.”
To volunteer to help build the field, please contact Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to donate go online to sooketurffield.com.