A representative from the Cochrane Turf Association is feeling confident that construction on an artificial-turf playing field could begin as soon as May 2013, after the group received a $250,000 grant from Rocky View County council, Nov. 27.
“It’s huge,” said Dean Lang, with the association. “To see recreation boards invest in minor sports shows the commitment to grow (minor sports) in Cochrane.”
The Cochrane Turf Association brought the funding request to the Ranch Lands, Rocky View West and Bearspaw/Glendale Recreation Boards in the fall. The former two boards brought their recommendations for approval to county council and were approved last week. The latter asked the turf association to return in the spring, after they had a chance to prioritize spending in their district.
Lang is the representative for Cochrane Lions Minor Football, one of four groups which make up the turf association. The other groups include Cochrane Coyote Rugby, Cochrane Minor Soccer and Cochrane Rangers Adult Soccer. Lang said the association formed two years ago when the separate groups realized they wouldn’t be able to raise the money for the turf, an estimated $2 million, by themselves.
The turf will be located on Rocky View Schools’ land at Bow Valley High School and serve the local schools and sports associations as well as residents from the surrounding area.
“This will allow kids to play a lot earlier and a lot later (in the year),” said Lang of getting the turf in place.
With the grass fields, kids don’t typically get out until the May long weekend but if there’s good weather and they can get the snow off the turf, there’s the potential to get the kids playing as early as March.
He also said with lights planned for the field, kids can play later at night, adding they have had to turn some soccer players away because they haven’t had the space for them to play.
As they approach the spring, Lang said the association will be working on attracting donations from private companies.
He said the group put a $600,000 request forward to the Town of Cochrane to consider during their budget deliberations for 2013 and hopes to hear back sometime in January. As well, each group is responsible for raising $100,000.