Soccer and field lacrosse are both expected to round up new players in the city’s northeast, as the first official turf field has been completed and is now open to the community.
The pitch, located at the Genesis Centre, will be a second home for many young kids aspiring to make it to the world stage.
“It starts here, then goes by level by level,” said player Ghazwan Ahmed.
“We want to become like a real soccer player, like we want to be famous – soccer famous,” said Khalaf Zendina, who enjoyed a soccer match on the new artificial grass.
The $6-million project broke ground in the spring, with funding coming from the province and the city.
Sherry King, executive director at Genesis Centre, says this field allows for more opportunities in the northeast communities.
“We really want to foster youth and sports and there are so many people in our community who have never had a chance to play soccer, never picked up a basketball,” she said.
“Outside maybe their school opportunity, they don’t get that.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says this turf pitch was brought forward by councillor George Chahal early in his term on council.
He’s excited for the community to access the field.
“They last longer, they are better quality and you can play them through most of the year, except when there is really deep snow,” said Nenshi.
“It will allow real opportunities for kids to play field sports, including soccer and field hockey.”
Several hundred community members were present for the unveiling.
Councillor George Chahal says the city has 78 high quality fields and this one is the first in the northeast.