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.”

Photo by Terry Roberts/The Com­pass

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.

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