Members of the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association (KEYSA) were at a regular Council meeting in Kimberley on Monday, November 25, 2019 to present their plans that are currently in the works for an indoor sports facility in Cranbrook.
Mike Robinson, Vice Chair of KEYSA and volunteer Coach for the Y13 boys, presented to Council alongside 13 year old soccer player Quinn Unger, who plays for the Rovers.
Robinson and Unger also asked for a letter of support from the City to go alongside a grant application that, if accepted, will secure the funds they need to get construction going in the new year. Council voted unanimously to approve the letter of support.
Robinson explained that the indoor sports facility is currently in the works through an agreement with KEYSA, the City of Cranbrook and the Regional District of East Kootenay.
The Facility will mainly be host to Cranbrook, Kimberley and Fernie youth soccer teams, however Robinson says it will also be used by various sports and community groups from the East Kootenay region.
“Our teams currently have a limited number of months that they can practice during the year,” said Robinson, pointing to our long winter season. “We’ve proposed an air supported dome that is approximately three times the size of a typical high school gym. It will allow us to practice and develop our skills year round.”
He says that various other groups including ultimate frisbee teams, baseball teams, rugby teams, senior health and fitness groups, the Cranbrook Farmers’ Market, drylands hockey and many more can rent out and benefit from the space once it’s up and running.
The total cost of the project comes in around $1.3 million, and Robinson says that 90 per cent of the funding has been secured over the past several months.
Robinson says that so far, funds have come through various streams including the RDEK, Columbia Basin Trust, various donations from the community, and in-kind support from the City of Cranbrook and New Dawn Developments.
The Cranbrook Townsman has been reporting on the plans for the facility since they were first presented, with many articles revolving around the location for the field, which will be Balment Park.
In June, KEYSA was offered land at Moir Park by the City, but they turned it down, hoping instead to secure the land at Balment, which they said is more suitable for the proposed stadium’s needs.
As the Townsman reported, the debate for the location of the indoor facility has been ongoing since the fall of 2017.