Soccer pitch opening on track
Facility is newest addition to sprawling Bay Roberts recreation complex
The Bay Roberts soccer pitch/walking track is unofficially slated to open near the end of June. And not a day too soon, say town officials and the general public.
Many people were waiting for the facility to open last year, hearing rumours the delay was caused by deficiencies with the pitch. However, nothing could be further from the truth, says recreation director Ian Flynn.
“Last year, we felt one more year … would be better for the field and for everybody involved,” Flynn says. “It was probably the best move we made.”
In the interim, a previous problem with water holdup corrected itself, the ground is firmer, and the sods have grown in. Once lime and fertilizer were used on the pitch earlier this year, the town was left with what Flynn calls an “absolutely fantastic” sports venue.
Ready for use
Flynn attributes people’s impatience with the field opening to the “anticipation of everybody wanting to play on the field right away.”
The town has removed the “Keep Off ” signs from the grass, and the town is awaiting the arrival of equipment for the pitch. Two soccer nets and two team benches are expected this week. Lines will then be painted on the field.
“ We’ll be ready to roll as soon as the Conception Bay North Lightening Soccer Association is ready to come down,” Flynn notes.
The association is currently using a converted softball field in North River that has been undergoing upgrades in recent months.
“ They’re ready now to move on to a facility that’s top-of-the-line; that’s designed for soccer.”
The level of activity at the walking track has been “absolutely phenomenal,” Flynn says.
A walking group of 18-20 members, who used to skate at the Bay Arena on Friday mornings, now makes use of the track.
The provincial Small Steps … Big Results physical campaign also uses the venue.
Flynn is anticipating even greater use for the track, and certainly for the pitch.
Bob Tarrant, president of the CBN Lightening Soccer Association, is envisioning the day when, according to Flynn, “ we could possibly have a Challenge Cup team in this area.”
And there are plans to install a lighting system at the field in the near future, Flynn adds.
The $ 250,000 facility is being cost-shared between the town and provincial government.
New storage facility
There’s also talk of a Frisbee league starting up.
The 50-plus club has inquired about events, including bocce and lawn bowling. The town’s summer recreation program will see some 300 children registered for its various programs.
A 30-foot by 60-foot storage facility is also under construction, located adjacent to the pitch, to replace the stage and storage facility destroyed by the last year’s Hurricane Igor. Oates Construction was awarded the $66,000 contract earlier this month.
There are plans for a new bandstand, and there’s talk of paving the parking lot, creating a skateboard park, and putting in a picnic area.
Flynn is pumped about the future prospects of the pitch/track.
“ When we bring people in from outside and they see what we have, it gives you a greater appreciation for the facilities the Town of Bay Roberts has. We encourage everyone to get out and get physically active in some way in a nice, safe environment.”
The new walking track-soccer pitch in Bay Roberts will soon be completed, with soccer nets and benches expected to be installed in the coming days. In the meantime, area residents such as Janine Baldwin (left) and her mother Blanche Baldwin have been taking full advantage of the track. Janine’s five-week-old daughter, Ashley, is resting comfortably in the stroller.