The Sooke Soccer Club partnered their season wind-up with an artificial turf fundraiser on April 14 at Fred Milne Park.
According to Wendy Cole, coach for the U15 girls Tsunami and seniors soccer player, about 30-50 games are cancelled during the season due to field closures.
She said the fields at Fred Milne Park drain poorly, leaving them unplayable after a torrential rainfall.
“There’s a closure on them because they’re so saturated -- it just becomes a mud pit.”
In order to ensure regular practice time, the club spent $9,000 on gymnasium and field rental space this year. Parents shuttled their kids back and forth to Goudy Turf in Langford for practices.
“I think it’s a shame that we have to leave our area to be able to practice in facilities like that,” Cole said.”Is it feasible for the kids to go out there and the parents to take them out there, no it’s not, but it is a guaranteed site for kids to keep practicing.”
Sooke Soccer Club president Robin Saxl said maintenance on the field costs approximately $20,000 a season, with volunteers doing most of the work.
“That’s what we invest every year, keeping the field up-to-date, and come November, they’re back where they were,” he said. “Over the last few weeks we had to cancel so many games, and we can’t practice. We had to rent fields in town to practice.”
Saxl said a turf field is playable in all weather conditions -- rain, shine or snow.
“The main thing is drainage, there would be no puddles,” he said. “You would not have the cut it, seed it, or line it.”
Field three, which has the largest surface area, measuring 8679 sq. metres, is currently being eyed for a turf field. The cost of the project is $1-million if the work is done mainly by volunteers.
A penny drive for a turf field was launched, while youth from the Sooke Soccer club played year-end free play games.
Cole said regular penny drives will be held on weekends, with locations to be announced on their website at : www.sookesoccer.com
Pennies brought into the Sooke News Mirror will be donated to the Sooke Soocer Club’s turf fund.