Recreation is something that we take for granted in Canada as it is easily accessible for most of us. Recreation connects people, builds community bonds, and promotes physical health and well-being. This is why I am committed to providing sufficient indoor and outdoor recreation spaces that are accessible for every citizen in Edmonton and the underserved southwest in particular.
INCREASED AND MORE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO ARENAS
The demand for arena spaces for all sports continues to be high. With a new Arena Master Plan, which is to be developed in the near future, Council will be able to establish more playing spaces in our city with a focus on balancing them in a more regionally fair manner that provides all areas of the city with equitable access to arenas.
While the redesign and redevelopment of Rollie Miles is a step in the right direction of investing in the residents who live in mature neighbourhoods, this investment can be and should be taken a step further by inviting the community into the full conversation about the best future for the area.
With the Scona Pool closing at some point in the near future due to its condition and age, we need to be ready when that happens. I am committed to advocating for the construction of a neighbourhood scale recreational facility including a pool, and giving serious thought to replacing the George S. Hughes arena as well.
SOCCER & BASEBALL
Soccer and baseball are two of Edmonton’s most popular sports, and they are both growing. With the growth of these two sports comes heightened demand for field and diamond space, and, in the case of soccer, indoor space. I recently made an inquiry to Administration, asking that they come back with a comprehensive report on the state of baseball in Edmonton, and the report came back to Council on June 19th of this year. It revealed that Edmonton currently has over 2000 young baseball players and that that number has consistently trended upward. We also have a whopping 622 baseball diamonds in our city. However, only 9 are considered “staffed” and 23 are kept up in partnership with a baseball organization.
There are currently 5000 minor soccer players in Edmonton and that number, like baseball, continues to show growth as Edmonton expands. The southside is expanding in 2018, but with demand ever growing and competition fierce for indoor playing time, we need more. That is why I am committed to establishing another Soccer Centre for Edmonton’s southwest as well as increasing the amount of baseball diamonds that are up to playing standards. I have been working with the Edmonton Scottish Society on the creation of a Soccer Centre on their lands, and, should I have the honour of being re-elected as City Councillor in fall, I will continue to champion this development.