Aldergrove soccer enthusiasts are working on raising the final installment for construction of a new artificial turf field at Aldergrove Athletic Park. From left

Aldergrove soccer enthusiasts are working on raising the final installment for construction of a new artificial turf field at Aldergrove Athletic Park. From left

Artificial turf dream soon a reality

Township Councillor Charlie Fox and the Aldergrove Soccer Field Committee toured the site of the now two week old construction project

Township Councillor Charlie Fox and the Aldergrove Soccer Field Committee toured the site of the now two week old construction project at Aldergrove Athletic Park on Friday.

It will be the location of the new synthetic turf fields in Aldergrove. The main field and an expansion of the existing parking lot to the south of it are the focus of the current excavating activity by a local Langley contractor, Cedar Crest Lands Ltd., which won the contract bid to build the $1.8 million dollar facility.

The Langley Parks and Recreation department structured the project so that it could partner with the local soccer community and enable them to add to this project a second, slightly smaller, synthetic turf field.

Bill Ede, Aldergrove Youth Soccer President said that, “One field doesn’t accommodate the needs of all 700-plus soccer kids in Aldergrove. Turns out the gravel field next to the new synthetic field can be covered by a synthetic turf for a lot less than it costs to install a completely new field. So we are attempting to do just that while we can benefit from the cost savings available to us by doing both fields at the same time.”

Art Bandenieks said that, “To cover the second field costs about $440,000. The two local soccer clubs have raised $100,000 and quite recently we received a $30,000 pledge from one of our soccer families who have a young soccer player just starting out. Together with some astute pencil sharpening by Parks and Rec, we are now just short by approximately $110,000 for this project to complete.”

Earlier in the week Reid McDonald led a delegation to Township of Langley Council where Charlie Fox put forward a motion to Council which passed. It directed Al Neufeld, manager of Parks Design and Development, to come up with a report for Council to act on, regarding the partnering of the soccer community in this project.

Hilary McRoberts, president of Aldergrove United Soccer, reported late Sunday that, “This weekend we were hosting our annual Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament, a fundraiser, featuring over 38 soccer teams, however, Sunday morning we woke up to a very bad April Fool’s joke in the form of snow! Mother Nature, unfortunately, didn’t want to co-operate, so with snow on the ground and saturated fields we were forced to cancel the final day.  Very disappointing as this is usually a great fundraiser for the club with all profits this year going towards the building of the second artificial pitch.”

McRoberts added, “We still have another event planned for the end of May, which will feature Emergency Services Personnel. You may have seen it on TSN and Discovery channels. The Pacific Regional of the FireFit and TopCop Championships will take place May 26 and 27 on the gravel pitch at Betty Gilbert. Teams from across the province will be in attendance and vie for a spot at the National Championships, to be held in Baie Comeau, Quebec, in September. We hope the community will get behind this event and help us raise the necessary funds to complete the pitch.”

Reid McDonald said that, “with support from our local community and our corporate community we should be able to raise the last amount of money needed to complete this project so that our young kids have a safe and reliable place to play soccer, not to mention all the other sports the two schools at either ends of the fields will be able to do year-round.”

The group intends to step up its fundraising activities. Both Ede and McRoberts said that if funds aren’t raised then both clubs will have to significantly increase registration fees to cover the costs of the proposed fields.

More information can be found at: www.aldergrovesoccer.com