Chilliwack is getting a brand new all-weather field, perhaps as early as this winter.
Chilliwack MLA John Les dropped by Townsend Park Monday afternoon to make the announcement, committing $250,000 in provincial funding to the project.
The new pitch will reside next to the sewage treatment plant, on the far end of Townsend Park.
While both are considered all-weather fields, the new pitch will bear little resemblance to the Townsend turf field.
Rather, Chilliwack FC president Andrea Laycock says it will be similar to a baseball infield.
“Almost like a clay, like Townsend A used to be before they grassed it,” Laycock said. “It will serve a purpose for training, but it’s not something that we would necessarily be using all the time because it’s not soft and squishy when you fall down.”
Laycock hopes the field will eventually be turned into turf.
In the meantime, the new field does provide options for a sports organization that has more than 4,000 registrants.
Chilliwack FC finds itself plagued by field closures during inclement weather.
“We can get up to eight teams at a time training on the turf field, and we can probably do the same on this one,” Laycock said. “Especially in the winter months when we’re into Cup play, and we’re shutting down and everyone else in the Lower Mainland is training at their facilities.”
It won’t help in time for this spring, but next year Laycock thinks the pitch will be fantastic for the weather-ravaged mini-ball program.
“When we close our fields we have 800 kids who don’t play,” she said. “Hopefully we can get some of those games on that new pitch.”