The 2014 spring soccer season is looking a little brighter for Fernie kids. The City is redeveloping and expanding the Max Turyk soccer field site to allow for two minor league-sized soccer fields.
The soccer field revamp project was put in motion after Fernie received a $350,000 grant from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program in March. Along with a commitment for $225,000 from the City, the revamped soccer facility will be constructed and ready for the spring of 2014.
“We look forward to a truly high standard soccer facility that will benefit children in the area for years to come,” commented Scott Dressler, on behalf of the Fernie Soccer Association. “The fields are badly needed and will be used extensively, and will help the children to be able to play more often and at a higher level.”
The Fernie Soccer Association currently offers spring soccer league membership to almost 400 local kids. “Our association provides coaches, uniforms, equipment, and league play,” explained Dressler. “The only thing we can’t provide is spaces.
“For the last number of years our growth has put a strain on the resources available in our community.”
Presently, the Fernie Soccer Association relies on the school district for three quarters of their playing space. Dressler expressed that the care and maintenance at school fields is out of the hands of the association, and can often cause scheduling and safety issues.
He spoke to council on November 26 to express the association’s gratitude for the upgraded soccer site, but also to ask for their assistance in maintaining it.
Dressler stated, “I believe it is very important for the City of Fernie to commit to the upkeep of the soccer fields to the constituency and use in the same way that the hockey rink, curling rink, and community centre are cared for.
“These items were added to the annual budget, and I would humbly suggest that the Max Turyk soccer field be added also.”
He added, “When this field complex at Max Turyk is completed in 2014, it will represent an amazing resource. It will only remain an amazing resource if it is looked after in the same manner as it was built.”
Council agreed the redeveloped soccer site would be an important resource to Fernie’s soccer community. They will look at the possibility of incorporating the maintenance of the fields into the City’s budget.