The organization, along with the Fort St. John Women’s Soccer League, has pitched the idea to Fort St. John City Council, and will now turn to the Peace River Regional District.
Darren Snider is the President of the Fort St. John Soccer Club. He emphasizes that the clubs aren’t looking for financial support from local governments.
“We’re not, as a club, asking for the City or the Regional District to build it for us,” he says. “What we’re asking, at this point, is for the land to start the process. Then our intention is to fundraise to build the building.”
Snider explains that while the current facility is sufficient, but several teams are stuck playing in other facilities around the city.
“I’m not complaining about the facility, but it doesn’t house half of our players that we have,” he explains. “So, the other half of our players are spending all of their time in school gyms. There’s more competition for those gyms now so we have a harder time finding gym time.”
With membership in the hundreds for the summer and winter leagues, it puts the group in the difficult position of needing to cap numbers when there are more kids who want to take part in the sport.
“Right now, everybody under 10 plays in gyms and doesn’t get to use the fieldhouse pitch, which is unfortunate because it’s nice and it would be great for them to play there,” Snider states. “We have six or seven hundred kids that play soccer in the summer and well over 400 in the winter. Our men’s club has seven teams in it and the women’s club has 12 or 14 teams in it and they’ve all capped. You’d hate to cap the numbers and not have kids be able to play.”
While the process is still in the early stages, both organizations are hoping for an outdoor-sized field indoors. The larger field would then allow for the field to be cut in three or five to accommodate more games and players.
The next step in the process has the City meeting with the Regional District to get its thoughts on the proposal to see if the wishes of both soccer clubs can be met.