Turf collaboration scores a win for all users

Groups come together to provide quality facilities for Oak Bay

For years, local soccer players have often had to brave the fall and winter mud to play “the beautiful game,” when fields weren’t closed altogether due to conditions, that is.

But the game got a whole lot more beautiful in Oak Bay this year with the opening of the new turf field at Oak Bay High. While our wet fall may have presented a wet prospect for spectators, players relished the opportunity to keep playing on turf that changed little with the rain.

Even better is the fact that the field came about through a variety of people in the community working together.

With roots reaching back all the way to 2010, the collaborative effort between players including the Greater Victoria School District and Bays United soccer association brought the project to fruition.

“The building of the school has been just a model of co-operation and partnership throughout every phase,” noted Mayor Nils Jensen at last week’s opening.

Bays United contributed to the capital costs of the field and entered into a 25-year agreement with the Greater Victoria School District to assist with operating costs, in exchange for community field use.

“They are our partner in this wonderful facility, they made it happen by bringing their players to the field and the money to the table,” said Oak Bay High principal Dave Thomson.

Such agreements make sense on a lot of levels. They provide excellent facilities that can be enjoyed by multiple users over the long term. They also make it possible to achieve more than either organization would be able to alone, realizing savings for their various user groups.

Beautiful.