Rendering of the turf fields proposed to be constructed next to Spectrum Community School, a project spearheaded by the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and the Greater Victoria School District. (Courtesy VISL)

Rendering of the turf fields proposed to be constructed next to Spectrum Community School, a project spearheaded by the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) and the Greater Victoria School District. (Courtesy VISL)

Spectrum turf project built around Greater Victoria partnerships

Vancouver Island Soccer League sees twin fields as a new home for association

Under normal circumstances Greater Victoria’s weather allows soccer, field lacrosse and field hockey to be played by adults and youth throughout the winter.

The availability of all-weather fields, however, is a key part of that. That’s a big reason why the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) is partnering with the Greater Victoria School District and Indigenous and other sports groups to create a centralized, two-field, $3.5-million complex at Spectrum Community School in Saanich.

“This is something we’ve been working on for 10 years, if not longer,” says Vince Greco, VISL executive director. Since turf became viable as a way of reducing game cancellations, he adds, several member clubs in Greater Victoria have constructed all-weather fields.

ALSO READ: Saanich soccer turf replacement project close to wrapping up

The high cost of land has been a roadblock to creating a VISL home field to date, Greco says, which makes the partnerships involved crucial.

“I think the only way for this to work is if we synergize our efforts,” he says. “About five years ago we started looking into different possibilities, and we kept coming around to the school district.”

The district is providing the land, but the other partners, each of which would share a piece of this recreational home, include Songhees Nation, the Native Indian Football Association and the T-Bird Soccer Group, while connections to the Canadian national para-soccer team and Kidsport Victoria have also been made for future use.

Not only does Spectrum have a large, mostly unused piece of land, VISL’s goals dovetail with those of the school. The side-by-side fields – part of a greater vision for the school that also includes an ice rink for its hockey academy – would be used for soccer, field lacrosse, PE classes and other recreational programs.

“We’re always trying to do things for the kids in the community,” says athletic director Dominic Butcher, pointing specifically to the Indigenous partnerships. “With our school district’s huge emphasis on truth and reconciliation … this project directly addresses that.”

Butcher, a longtime VISL goalkeeper himself, echoes Greco’s sentiment that the project has the potential to provide benefit to a broad cross-section of the community.

“I think [it’s in] our very name, we want to be that colour in the community, connecting people and being that community builder, with the people we help build and the students we produce,” Butcher says. “There’s lots of potential for partnerships and many community sports groups are crying out for turf time.”

The proponents aim to get $2.25 million in grant money, leaving the league to raise roughly $1.25 million. Any donations received by the end of 2020 will enhance the group’s current funding applications, Greco says.

ALSO READ: Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

Besides the fields, the goal is to have a “learning centre” that would house change rooms, meeting and spectator spaces and potentially a concession.

More information at vislturf.ca.

sd61soccer

Just Posted

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

New population estimates peg the population of Greater Victoria at 408,883 as of July 1, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Population estimates peg Greater Victoria’s population at 408,883

New estimates show regional population grew by 1.35 per cent

The Salvation Army’s 2020 Christmas Kettle Campaign includes a new $5 tap feature for pandemic-friendly donations. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
EDITORIAL: Alberni Valley steps up in time of need

There are a lot of ways the outside world interprets Port Alberni…

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

In January, six flights with cases of COVID-19 onboard have landed at the Victoria International Airport so far. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two new COVID-19 exposures reported on flights to Victoria

A Jan. 10 flight from Toronto and Jan. 11 flight from Calgary were affected

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

(News Bulletin file photo)
Car crashes along the Nanaimo Parkway, driver abandons vehicle

Mazda with ‘extensive damage’ found in the ditch in the early-morning hours Jan. 19

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

Most Read