New sports complex will keep athletes at home
Foothills: Sod turning held at future site of Seaman Sports Park in northwest of MD
Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 06:00 am
A Millarville Wildcat has visions of playing baseball on a regulation diamond as he gets older and now he has a chance to do it in his own community.
The first shovel full of dirt for the Seaman Sports Park in the Millarville area was dug on Aug. 13, west of the Millarville Race Track and Farmers’ Market.
Two regulation size ball diamonds, with 90-foot base paths and a 60-foot pitcher’s mound, and a parking lot will be built in the first phase.
Umpires should be calling “play ball” at the diamonds by next spring.
Ten-year-old Thomas Bakoway was getting a jump on things, playing catch with his younger brother Josh on the new grass field.
“Right now, I play at the Millarville School — it’s not really first class but it’s okay,” Bakoway said. “I want to play here and it will really be neat to play in a big field with my friends.”
Future phases include four soccer pitches, an outdoor hockey arena, an indoor sports complex, two more ball diamonds, a walking/running path and more parking.
The new facilities are much needed in the Millarville, Priddis and Red Deer Lake areas, said Millarville Sports Association president Damon Grover.
“The Millarville Sports Association has over 200 kids in the Millarville community participating in our program every year,” he said. “We are now the largest pond hockey association in Alberta.”
Grover said it also has a large number of youths playing in the baseball and soccer programs.
“Our challenge has been we haven’t had a facility for the older kids to play on,” Grover said. “We are losing older players to Okotoks and Calgary. We are really excited to have our kids play here in the future.”
The association has already contributed $50,000 to the project.
MD of Foothills Coun. Suzanne Oel said the genesis of the park came from a survey in 2010.
“We determined there was an interest in both outdoor and indoor facilities,” Oel told the approximately 35 people in attendance at the sod turning.
“In outdoor facilities there was an interest in trails, ice rink, playground, soccer and ball diamonds.”
She said it indicated interest in a multi-sports complex in the area. The Northwest Foothills Recreation Board was established in 2011 to help get the project started.
“This sports complex will be a place where we can safely bring our youth and they can grow, they can play and it will be better for everyone,” said board chairman Pierre Bolduc.
“This facility makes the entire dream a reality.”
The facility is named after the Seaman family, who made a generous donation to the project and has lived in the area for decades.
Bob Seaman has lived in the Millarville-Priddis area for more than 40 years.
“There was a diamond at the school and at the racetrack, but its been washed away with the flood (in 2005),” Seaman said. “This area needs a sports facility and ball diamonds. There are more than 200 kids in this area playing sports. That’s unbelievable and these kids need a place to play.”
The ball diamonds will be called Powell Field in memory of Tina Powell, who passed away in April at the age of 46 of cancer. Tina, her husband Kevin and their three children have played a significant role at both the community and school level, said Oel.
For more information about the Seaman Sports Park go to www.nwfoothillsrec.com