Last Sunday Jarry Park saw the unveiling of the Borough’s first synthetic soccer field in the presence of Helen Fotopoulos, member of the Executive Committee and also responsible for Mount Royal, large parks and nature parks; Anie Samson, Borough mayor and Mary Deros city councillor of Park-Extension and master of ceremony for the event. Numerous other people from the soccer scene, presidents of local associations, trainers as well as players were also present at this long-awaited inauguration.
A project with a long gestation
The building of the synthetic soccer field is one of several projects in the Master Plan for Jarry Park adopted in April 2008. The plan was the outcome of a consultation process. A series of consultations were carried out amongst citizens and users of Jarry Park starting back in 2005.
As Helen Fotopoulos pointed out during her speech: “the people of Montreal have their word to say about the development of their city. Thanks to their opinions, their comments and their support, we are able to build a great Jarry Park, a park that evolves to meet the real needs of its users”.
Mary Deros said she was very happy that Mrs Fotopoulos had succeeded in speeding up the construction of this synthetic surface field. She also expressed her thanks in the name of all the sportspeople and users of the park who now possess a place that responds even more to their needs.
A 1.7 5M$ investment
It is important to understand that the creation of a synthetic surface field not only guarantees a quality, secure and hard wearing surface but as Annie Samson, Mayor of the Borough, stated, this new installation will enable not only residents of the Borough but all Montrealers to benefit even more from the advantages of Jarry Park – a park that already enjoys a wonderful reputation thanks to the activities which it offers not only in the summer but throughout the year.
This project was part of the support program for sports and recreational institutions by the fund for the development of sport and physical activities which was set up by the Minister of Education, Sports and Leisure. A total investment of $1.75M was necessary for the infrastructure works and the refurbishment without forgetting the addition of a lighting system to enable sportspeople to benefit from the facilities long into the evening.
A much appreciated innovation offering several advantages
It goes without saying that this investment is very much appreciated by sports and young people's associations who use the current facilities at Jarry Park throughout the year. As to the elected members, they are all proud to be able to offer to the children of the district, wherever they come from, a quality soccer field in perfect condition which can be used for almost seven months of the year. Everybody is in agreement that sport is beneficial to young people and soccer, which is currently a growth sport in Quebec, finds an increasingly favourable place in the lives of young Montrealers - both boys and girls.
In addition to meeting the needs of the area, the choice of a synthetic field, as much for the players as the trainers, seems to be an obvious choice since it offers a number of advantages such as enabling soccer to be played in the best conditions regardless of the season and permitting a high volume of games as the surface is slow to deteriorate. As to maintenance, it is not particularly expensive. Young soccer players who have already tried out the synthetic field find the game is much faster and more technical even if there is nonetheless a period of adaptation.
Some key figures
There are currently 18 soccer fields and 210 mini soccer ones on the island of Montreal. This latest field brings to 28 the number of fields with a synthetic surface as Montreal already has eight full-size fields, three mini soccer ones, four for soccer and football as well as 13 mixed surface fields.
Conditions are indeed conspiring to ensure that, as a sport, soccer becomes increasingly popular and to make this new synthetic field a success for the Borough.