The Sooke Soccer Club continues to look for funds, sponsorship and support for an up-and-coming turf field at Fred Milne Park.
Not exactly an easy journey, but neither has it been transversed alone, as the Sooke Soccer Club and Sooke Community Association joined forces in October to apply for a $100,000 grant through the Aviva Community Fund.
As it turns out, Sooke Soccer Club ended up in seventh place out 103 applicants, after the community association switched its grant from the Sooke Community Hall towards the soccer club.
“We were hoping to get 16,000 votes in [for the turf field] but ended up with 37,000, so not too bad,” said Sooke Soccer Club president Laura Lockhart.
In October, the group arranged a metal drive bin near the Fred Milne soccer fields, something which Lockhart believes will help make a difference.
“If it keeps up like that, we can raise more than $10,000,” she said, adding they also sold poinsettias, raking in almost $2,000.
Bit by bit, it adds up, hopefully to what Lockhart hinted as a spring opening.
There’s also $1 million set aside by the District of Sooke, which adds some ground to the whole plan, but there’s still a long way to go.
“We definitely have enough money to build the field. The extra we need, we’re raising money for and looking for donations and sponsorship is for the lighting, fencing, the cement around it,” Lockhart said. “We can just do little bits here and there, raise more awareness and moolah.”
Lockhart also added they are still awaiting approval of the turf field from the Agricultural Land Commission, which has shown no sign of progression, despite hopes from Sooke Mayor Maja Tait in July that the application was to move “as quickly as possible.”
It’s not like the need for a turf field in Sooke is ever going to go away either.
In October, it rained 28 out of 31 days, leading to constant field closures and several cancelled games and frustration from both players and parents.
“Every year, our fields always get destroyed over the winter, there’s just no stopping it,” Lockhart said.
So far, though, the club has made do as-is with little updates such as improving the draining of fields back in the summer.
“Seems to be working, because we’re not forming those huge lakes,” Lockhart chuckled.