The Fort St. John Soccer Club's new futsal pitch inside the curling arena is now open.
Teams have been using the pitch for practice since the start of the new year, giving the club two different playing surface options as well as space to accomodate more kids.
"Registration is down this year, but in a normal year, more than half of our kids are playing in school gyms," said soccer club president Darren Snider. "Having this location will hopefully allow us to get out of the school gyms, and that will open up the gyms more for everyone else."
The soccer and curling clubs announced a partnership last year that splits the arena in half, helping the curling club stay viable while giving the soccer club more space for kids.
The cost of the upgrades were pegged at $200,000. The soccer club recently received $20,000 in 2020 BC Winter Games legacy funding that will go towards the cost of the flooring and a new wall that separates the futsal pitch from the curling ice sheets.
The pitch consists of a bright, soft, snap-together floor, and comes after new turf was installed in the fieldhouse last summer.
The ball rolls faster on the pitch than on artificial turf, and Snider said it has advantages over turf for the club's youngest ages.
"It will also help build a sense of community in our club. Everyone will be playing at the same spot, instead of one team at Dr. Kearney and another team at Ma Murray," Snider said.
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