After years of planning and saving, the Vancouver Island Soccer League (VISL) has joined forces with a Saanich based school to create a “Home for the VISL” and provide a new community sports facility in the Greater Victoria area.
With plans underway, Provincial and Federal grants have been submitted, and the Island sporting community is now much closer to building two all weather fields at Spectrum Community High School in School District 61.
The VISL have partnered up with Indigenous groups the Songhees Nation, the Native Indian Football Association (NIFA), and the T-Bird Soccer Group for the project, and have garnered support from KidSport, with the aim of providing a home for low cost/cost recovery programming that benefits all, including some of Victoria’s most vulnerable families and youth from families in financial need.
The project aims to benefit many sports and activities besides soccer, but will directly benefit 20,000 soccer players from youth boys and girls, to adult men and women. It is hoped that the new facility will also provide an option for the Canada Para Soccer National Team.
A first of its kind on the Island, besides the two turf fields, the plan is to have a learning center. This will act as storage and washrooms on the main floor, and a large working room on the upper floor – ideal for classroom learning and a meeting space.
You can see the first rendering of the project in the photo above.
The facility will not only benefit Saanich residents, but everybody up and down the Island, but at a cost of roughly $3.5 million, and with maximum grants of $2.25 million available, there is still a considerable shortfall and the need to come up with a minimum $1.25 million, which the VISL hope to meet through sponsorships and donations.
The project has the support from Saanich Mayor and Council, and the VISL are prepared to go full out to make the dream become a reality, launching the fundraising initiative below:
You can read more about the project at www.vislturf.ca.
If you are able to donate, then you can submit your name and contact info on the above website. You can also sent an etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them directly to make a cheque donation or for larger donations.
It’s an ambitious project, but a much needed one for the area and should leave a long lasting legacy for the sport on the island. Help be a part of it if you can.