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

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Mainly cloudy skies ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend

Victoria’s cocktail king releases book on best bartenders in Canada

Four bartenders from Kelowna and one from Penticton are recognzied in Great Northern Coocktails

Saanich man discovers hidden corners of city while cycling every street in Victoria

Cyclist maps progress while taking on 2019 goal to cover every street with road sign

Proposed four-storey Victoria parkade offers zero spots for public use

A proposed parkade at 730-780 Summit Ave. will soon be up for discussion

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

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

B.C. set to announce changes around youth vaping, regulations

Move will involved education, tightening access, working with partners and pressuring the federal government

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Most Read