by Morgan Daye
When the Fundy Soccer Association was presented with the plans for the Saint John Field House, it was a no-brainer that they would get involved, according to Technical Director Jason Brown. After wanting and waiting for a facility of this grandeur for over a decade, the non-profit Fundy Soccer Association didn’t hesitate to get involved by donating and becoming valued partner.
“It’s almost perfect timing,” said Brown, who has been seeing a shift lately, in the way soccer clubs across Canada have been changing their standards. Premier soccer leagues have been beginning their seasons earlier and earlier every year. Having year-round access to begin practicing on turf in the winter months will allow local soccer teams to remain competitive against other regions that have similar facilities.
Comparing it to similar facilities in other areas of the country, Brown thinks that there is something unique about the Saint John Field House. With a fitness centre in the same building as the indoor turf fields and running track, the option exists to have a work out before coaching a practice, or to walk the track while your child plays a game.
The Fundy Soccer Association sees this unique facility as a way to branch out to other programs as well.
“We don’t want to make soccer the only thing we do,” he said. Brown explained how Fundy Soccer believes that all kids should have access to a facility that allows them to be well-rounded athletes, and they want to be part of a facility that will give youth the chance to try other field sports like football, rugby, frisbee and track and field.
Brown also sees the Saint John Field House as means of re-energizing a once very lively community.
“I remember when the rink was there,” he recalled. “There were always people in the area to play hockey at Simonds arena. Since the rink has been gone, there has been a void in that community.”
The Saint John Field House will have a critical impact on the community. Attracting children and families from all over, back to that area of the city, can only mean good things for local businesses and other community members.
“You’ve literally taken away my ability to sleep,” Brown recalls saying to Bill MacMackin, president of the Saint John Field House.
The Saint John Field House, will open in the Fall of 2019, which means great things for the soccer community in Saint John, but Brown is most excited to see the inclusivity that it will bring back to the city.
“Our intention is to get every child, parent and adult, that we can, onto that field. That’s what it’s there for.”