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Only 2 lit turf fields leave minor football struggling for field space in the West Shore

West Shore minor teams may be relocated to Saanich or shut down if no solution found
Players from the Westshore Warriors and the Victoria Spartans (black) try and catch a pass during a football match on Goudy Field on May 29, 2022. Greater Victoria Minor Football Association president Lucy Hansen said it’s been hard to find field time for teams like the Warriors to practice during the week. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Efforts to find practice fields for the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association are struggling to score.

The West Shore-based Warriors Football team may have to relocate to Saanich, or not run at all, depending on if a solution is found, according to association president Lucy Hansen.

“I hate to say this, but Pacific FC has come in and the majority of these kids were allocated in those fields. It’s great for the West Shore, don’t get me wrong. But there’s nothing to back up that time that they’ve taken away from all these kids.”

Last year, the association had to rent lights and put them at the field behind Belmont Secondary School at a cost of $10,000 for three months, which wouldn’t be an affordable solution for a non-profit association moving forward, Hansen said. The group has been looking for space elsewhere and is awaiting approval from the District of Saanich to get extra time to play at its current home field on Parkridge Street. But that field is natural grass as opposed to turf, meaning it may not be able to withstand the extra usage.

Yari Nielsen, director of parks, recreation and facilities for the City of Langford said the city offered 25 hours of field time after they said the association requested Saturdays and Sundays. But Hansen said those days wouldn’t work for practices, because that’s when games are held.

“We have agreements in place with PFC Soccer, Rugby Canada, JDF Soccer and Belmont High School (football and PE Classes). We try to work with all youth groups to find field times, but as we currently only have two lit turf fields in Langford, it is hard to accommodate every request we get,” Nielsen said in an email.

Hansen said the West Shore needs more turf fields to accommodate the current sports teams and the growth she’s seeing in the number of kids playing.

A short-term solution could be to install lights at the Belmont Secondary School field says Hansen, which is also grass but would benefit the school program as well as community groups.

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