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B.C. gaming grants fund upgrades to Braefoot Park’s turf field in Saanich

Drainage system and shock pad also part of $250,000 grant
Community gaming grants are going towards upgrades to Braefoot Park in Saanich. (Courtesy of Google Streetview)

Revenue from gambling in B.C. is being put toward upgrading a soccer field in Saanich.

The Lakehill Soccer Association received $250,000 from the community gaming grants program to help replace the artificial turf field at Braefoot Park. The project will also include a new drainage system and a shock pad to reduce the risk of player injuries.

The turf field is a centrepiece for the community and Lakehill Soccer, but its condition has deteriorated to the point where it has become uncomfortable and potentially unsafe for play, said Jeremy Mannall-Fretwell, the soccer association’s president.

“This grant allows us to replace the surface, rectify some design flaws and ensure that Braefoot Park remains a premier destination for sports and other activities in Saanich,” he said in a news release.

The Braefoot Park upgrades are among the 16 community gaming grants totalling $1.2 million benefitting organizations’ capital projects on Vancouver Island and in coastal communities.

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming said helping non-profits like the soccer association is a priority for the province because the group brings people of all ages together through sport.

“Anyone who’s played on the old field at Braefoot knows that a new field will make a huge difference for youth and adult players alike,” Fleming said.

The soccer association isn’t the only Saanich group receiving funding from the gaming proceeds. The grant program is also giving the Shelbourne Community Kitchen Society $89,700 for commercial-grade kitchen equipment.

Community gaming grants allocate $140 million to approximately 5,000 groups across B.C. every year.

Non-profit organizations provide valuable services that make life better for British Columbians, Municipal Affairs Minister Anne Kang said in a news release.

“Through the community gaming grants, my ministry is supporting organizations to acquire essential equipment and undertake renovations - whether it’s replacing a worn-out soccer field or refinishing a youth centre - so that they can continue to better support strong and vibrant communities in B.C.”

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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