The Burns Lake Soccer Club is considering asking council to turn the local ice arena into an artificial turf field and indoor running track.
Donna Franz, a Burns Lake Soccer Club board member, said this discussion gained momentum after council members pointed out in the recreation department’s organizational review that hockey participation has been dwindling while soccer participation has been growing in recent years. Soccer club members believe this change would increase arena usage while saving the municipality money, since ice maintenance would no longer be necessary.
“The club feels that an indoor field and track would receive a much higher usage than the current ice arena, not only through soccer activities but by a wider variety of community members than those currently using the ice,” said Franz.
“Ice arena is a pretty limited activity base,” she continued. “A field would open so many recreation opportunities, we think, and they [village] would get a lot of people at the door.”
“We would like to inquire if this idea would be supported by the community and work with other community groups to gain their support should a proposal appear to have a likelihood of success,” she added.
Franz says that while soccer is currently the highest enrolled activity for youth in the area, its short season puts local players at a disadvantage.
“Right now, we’d like to make a run for the B.C. Cup; technically we can participate in the B.C. Cup, but because it snows in the north we basically can’t compete because other teams started practicing in August,” she explained. “They practice all through the winter, and their final games are in the beginning of July; we start [practicing] in May, so how can we possibly compete at that level?”
“Our club is continuing to grow and we have even started adding adult teams,” added Franz. “Our club is reaching the point where it needs to move on to the next level of participation.”
“We’d also like to include the seniors because there’s a lot of activities that they could do such as lawn bowling.”
“You can use it for pretty much anything,” added Franz. “And with the track around it, we think it could be a win-win situation.”