As every WSC player, coach and parent knows, our home fields are among the worst in our league. Despite the best efforts of the City’s field maintenance crews, it is very difficult to keep the fields in playable condition. Our season starts late, the fields wear quickly due to heavy use and we do not have the correct size fields for some of our teams. Our adult U24 team has to play all games away from home.
In 2019, the junior fields were in very poor condition. Although they have been re-sodded in the fall, based on experience they will quickly deteriorate due to wear and tear. Our annual survey shows that fields are continually a source of major dissatisfaction, and our players and parents overwhelmingly support an organic artificial turf field.
Soccer is the largest participation sport in Canada and growing fast. An artificial turf field was explored by the City of Westmount in 2007, but the idea was abandoned as a result of the smell, health and heat concerns related to the recycled rubber infill.
Technology has moved on, and there are now a number of organic infill products available that address these issues. Although these organic products are a little more expensive than the recycled rubber infill, the total project budget would be as low as $1m: Modest compared to other projects under consideration by the City, but with huge impact to many users in our community. The City even has had an offer of funding for such an organic turf field on the table for several years from Selwyn House School. If the City chooses to access this funding, the project could be realised with no cost to our city and no impact on our taxes.
We have been in communication with the City on this subject over the last two years. Our most recent detailed letter to the Mayor and all of our Councillors received no response for a month. See the full letter here
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