Players and spectators will have more opportunity for “the beautiful game” now that Township council has voted to fully support completing a synthetic turf field at Aldergrove Athletic Park.
Once it is complete, hundreds of players from organized teams as well as Aldergrove Community Secondary and Betty Gilbert Middle School will have year-round access to soccer fields in that community.
Art Bandenieks, who is listed on Aldergrove Soccer’s web site as the head referee, told council on Monday that the organization would like council to commit $218,000 to complete the pitch, matched dollar for dollar by the Aldergrove Soccer.
The organization has already raised $135,000 from donations, and council agreed to loan the balance which will be repaid over five years.
A surplus fund will be allocated to eventually replace the synthetic turf which, council was advised, is typically required every 12 years.
Bandenieks said that Aldergrove Soccer would like the turf field finished now, while contractors are on the site converting an all-weather gravel field. The proposed project is to expand this to a full-size regulation synthetic turf field.
When finished, soccer players won’t have to travel out of Aldergrove. Many currently play at Brown Road Park where the fields are unavailable during the winter, Bandenieks said.
It also means a better playing surface. Bandenieks told council that older boys play soccer on gravel surfaces, and “soccer and gravel don’t mix.”
Furthermore, he said, Aldergrove currently has no synthetic fields and none that are lit.
“All we are interested in is accommodating all our players’ needs now and in the future,” Bandenieks said.
Mayor Jack Froese and Councillor Charlie Fox lauded the creative way that Aldergrove Soccer had come up with money for the pitch and its eventual replacement.
The Times‘ sister paper, The Aldergrove Star, and Hilary McRoberts of Scott Firefit Championships are promoting a May 26-27 fundraiser for the artificial turf at Aldergrove Athletic Park.