Whitehorse’s soccer leagues just need simple field repair

Whitehorse's soccer leagues just need simple field repair This letter is in response to the April 20 article "Plans for outdoor sports complex still alive, says proponent" by Myles Dolphin. I take issue with the paragraph quoting Tony Gaw: "With the start

This letter is in response to the April 20 article “Plans for outdoor sports complex still alive, says proponent” by Myles Dolphin.

I take issue with the paragraph quoting Tony Gaw: “With the start of the new outdoor season only one week away, he said only a few of the city’s 16 fields are adequate for soccer.”

I could only find 13 fields that are bookable and they were all fairly close to the same condition with the more heavily used fields, having a few divots, a little mud in the keepers area and brownish grass with green coming through. Most repair areas were something that a couple of five-gallon pails of black dirt and a spade could not fix in minutes, with the south part of the Whitehorse Elementary field being the exception. That area has some major scoops missing and would require a little more work.

There are some trench lines where sprinkler systems are being put in but are leveled off and pose no real threat that I can see at Elijah Smith and Whitehorse Elementary north part of field.

I think they start watering these fields about May 10, once most of the frost is out of the ground and it quits freezing at night. I’ve seen kids in Mexico playing soccer on the beach when the tide is out, and they would think they were in the big leagues if they had a chance to play on fields such as we have. Things have really progressed since the days of soccer at recess on a gravel field with hobnailed boots at the old Porter Creek school around where Stan McGowan Place is. No one got injured that I can recall.

This proposed $8-million boondoggle shows the financial irresponsibility of the incumbent Yukon Party, who are doing their best to waste this money that could really be used elsewhere. This unneeded facility would be unsustainable on its own and become another tax drain when we have enough of those already. The minor soccer season is far too short, with most kids still around town for the summer, and by the time the grass is healthy the season is over.

The proposed, unneeded facility would have AstroTurf which the pros say cause way more injuries than natural grass. The projected operations and maintenance figures are like something riding a pogo stick.

I am also wondering why we don’t hear this caterwauling from the communities about wherever they have played soccer for decades.

John Birmingham

Whitehorse

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