June 25, 2013
It Can Be Done
It’s hard to believe we’re into the month of June and we are already well into the soccer season. To date we have thirty three Challenge Cup matches completed. This is mainly due to the new soccer facilities on the Avalon Peninsula. These new artificial turf fields have added a new dimension to the sport. No longer do the provincial soccer leagues have to wait until the summer to get their programs underway. They’re now starting in the spring.
The Provincial Minor U-14s, U-16s, and the Senior Challenge Cup and Jubilee Trophy leagues all started their schedules in May. However, it’s unfortunate that the spring start can’t extend to the Burin Peninsula because it doesn’t have at least one turf facility. Which brings about the question of why the Burin Peninsula can’t have an artificial turf facility. I realize that there isn’t anything wrong with grass fields but one must realize that without a turf facility, the Burin Peninsula are at a large disadvantage. The Burin Peninsula can’t start the outdoor program until the month of June and then without lights you can’t play any soccer at night.
On the Avalon Peninsula there are currently three existing artificial facilities - The King George V facility in St. John’s, the Smallwood Complex in Mount Pearl, and the Topsail field in Conception Bay South. A fourth artificial facility is about to open its doors in the town of Portugal Cove/St. Philips in July. In addition to these facilities, the Fieldian Athletic Association are presently in the planning phase of getting an artificial turf facility at Fieldian Grounds. Furthermore, the city Corner Brook has had an artificial turf soccer field for the past seven/eight years.
I realize it will take a major combined effort and full co-operation from a number of stakeholders to bring this sort of facility to fruition on the Burin Peninsula, but it can be done. First, a regional turf field committee needs to be put in place where the membership can extend their vision well beyond that of their own community. Secondly, the amount of funding required for this project would need to be accessed. Thirdly, it is imperative that a common ground must be struck on where this facility would be located. I know this would be a difficult decision but that’s where good leaders show their true leadership. One would have to realize that this new facility must become a regional facility with the cost of the constructing and operating this facility to be shared by all communities that are members of the Burin Peninsula Soccer Association. Finally, both the Provincial Government and the Federal Government must become giant partners in assisting this development. Over the past few years, I’ve been at the opening ceremonies of the facilities and I can attest that I’ve seen community mayors, provincial MHAs, and federal MPs all there, excited about their involvement in their new soccer facilities. Why can’t the same be done on the Burin Peninsula?
Dunphy’s Details: The Burin Peninsula will be a major playground to all three NLSA Senior Mens’ Championships in 2013. The Burin Peninsula is the host of the Molson Challenge Cup on Labour Day Weekend. The following weekend, Sept. 6 -8, the Burin Peninsula Soccer Association will host the Provincial Masters ‘A’ and ‘B’ tournaments and from August 16-18, the BPSA will be hosting the Provincial Mens’ Intermediate Mega-Tournament.
Gord Dunphy is a former Challenge Cup 1990’s All-Star coach of the St. Lawrence Laurentians and National Bronze Medalist. He can be reached by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.