Short end of the stick for soccer in Calgary? - Metro US

Short end of the stick for soccer in Calgary?

With three of 11 indoor soccer fields out of commission, soccer parents and officials said the lack of fields in the city is even more glaring.

As a coach for his son’s under-14 Blizzards soccer team, Tim White said the lack of space in Calgary hinders the young athletes from improving.

“Everybody is looking to get some field time but what we find is for practices, we’re in gyms, unlike hockey where the practice time is on the ice,” he said. “That doesn’t lend to skill development for the kids.”

Daryl Leinweber, executive director for the Calgary Minor Soccer Association, said this has been a long-standing issue.

“Soccer centres are not subsidized by the City of Calgary,” said Leinweber. “We’ve had to survive based upon our own resources.”

He said that while the city is making strides in helping to build more artificial turf fields outdoors, there is a long way to go.

“Some of the reasons that we have what we have is due to the limitations that the city has placed on us for construction,” he said, adding the Calgary West Soccer Centre is in an inflatable dome on land leased to them by the city.

As the superintendent of sports development with the city, Ray Pelltier said he believes soccer is becoming more of a priority, but Canada’s hockey culture has put the sport on the backburner.

“Indoor soccer is a great activity, but from the perspective of Canada and hockey and what goes with it, it’s just something that people support a lot more,” said Pelltier.

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