Rendering of the turf fields proposed to be constructed next to Spectrum Community School, a project spearheaded by the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and the Greater Victoria School District. (Courtesy VISL)

Rendering of the turf fields proposed to be constructed next to Spectrum Community School, a project spearheaded by the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and the Greater Victoria School District. (Courtesy VISL)

Spectrum turf project built around Greater Victoria partnerships

Vancouver Island Soccer League sees twin fields as a new home for association

Under normal circumstances Greater Victoria’s weather allows soccer, field lacrosse and field hockey to be played by adults and youth throughout the winter.

The availability of all-weather fields, however, is a key part of that. That’s a big reason why the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) is partnering with the Greater Victoria School District and Indigenous and other sports groups to create a centralized, two-field, $3.5-million complex at Spectrum Community School in Saanich.

“This is something we’ve been working on for 10 years, if not longer,” says Vince Greco, VISL executive director. Since turf became viable as a way of reducing game cancellations, he adds, several member clubs in Greater Victoria have constructed all-weather fields.

ALSO READ: Saanich soccer turf replacement project close to wrapping up

The high cost of land has been a roadblock to creating a VISL home field to date, Greco says, which makes the partnerships involved crucial.

“I think the only way for this to work is if we synergize our efforts,” he says. “About five years ago we started looking into different possibilities, and we kept coming around to the school district.”

The district is providing the land, but the other partners, each of which would share a piece of this recreational home, include Songhees Nation, the Native Indian Football Association and the T-Bird Soccer Group, while connections to the Canadian national para-soccer team and Kidsport Victoria have also been made for future use.

Not only does Spectrum have a large, mostly unused piece of land, VISL’s goals dovetail with those of the school. The side-by-side fields – part of a greater vision for the school that also includes an ice rink for its hockey academy – would be used for soccer, field lacrosse, PE classes and other recreational programs.

“We’re always trying to do things for the kids in the community,” says athletic director Dominic Butcher, pointing specifically to the Indigenous partnerships. “With our school district’s huge emphasis on truth and reconciliation … this project directly addresses that.”

Butcher, a longtime VISL goalkeeper himself, echoes Greco’s sentiment that the project has the potential to provide benefit to a broad cross-section of the community.

“I think [it’s in] our very name, we want to be that colour in the community, connecting people and being that community builder, with the people we help build and the students we produce,” Butcher says. “There’s lots of potential for partnerships and many community sports groups are crying out for turf time.”

The proponents aim to get $2.25 million in grant money, leaving the league to raise roughly $1.25 million. Any donations received by the end of 2020 will enhance the group’s current funding applications, Greco says.

ALSO READ: Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

Besides the fields, the goal is to have a “learning centre” that would house change rooms, meeting and spectator spaces and potentially a concession.

More information at vislturf.ca.

sd61soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Sooke council has sent a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy calling for a province-wide ban on the use of rat poison. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke calls for ban on rat poison across B.C.

Letter of support follows similar move by City of North Vancouver

What was previously thought to be a flu shot fraud was actually a booking error, West Shore RCMP confirmed Jan. 27. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: Flu shot fraud actually booking error by Colwood London Drugs

West Shore RCMP previously said error was work of fraudsters

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read