EDITORIAL: Sports facilities a good investment

Frequent use of fields, arenas and other infrastructure the payoff

Once playing fields, arenas and other sports facilities are completed, it’s easy to take their presence for granted and the impact they have on the overall health of the community.

Anyone spending time at West Shore Parks and Recreation in Colwood the past two weekends saw firsthand the beehive of activity attracted by the playing fields, tennis courts, golf course, arenas and bike motocross track.

From soccer, lawn bowling, BMX races and figure skating, to field lacrosse, golf, tennis, hockey and curling, the myriad opportunities for healthy recreation and competition made possible by the various facilities was unmistakable.

Participants in these activities come not only from the six members in the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society – five municipalities and one electoral district – but from across the Capital Region. That is good not just for public health, it’s good for business, as visitors to the area use restaurants and cafés, or combine their trip with a visit to retail stores on the West Shore, or maybe do a drive-by or stop in to such higher-end merchants as car dealers.

Building such facilities, whether in Colwood or Langford – home to about 68 per cent of the West Shore’s population and the most developable land – is not cheap. Property owners foot the bill for such projects, with extra revenue such as naming rights and other corporate sponsorship helping lower the hit marginally. But with good financial management at the municipal level, and teamwork between the Society’s members, taxpayers aren’t hit through the nose with huge property tax increases to pay for new fields and arenas.

Some people may disagree with the idea of municipalities taking on such projects, arguing that the users should bear the full brunt of paying them off. But recreation facilities are part of the fabric of our communities and go a long way toward producing the kind of healthy people who lead us now and in the future.

That, along with revenues from usage, is part of the solid investment they are today and become down the road.

Just Posted

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of… Continue reading

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Deadly mushroom spotted in Greater Victoria

Early return of death cap mushrooms prompts Island Health warning

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read