The Fleming Knights will soon have a place to call home.
The varsity soccer and rugby teams will be playing their home games on home soil next year – well actually, home turf.
Many of the varsity teams at Fleming have been playing their home games all over the city. For example, the men’s soccer team has called Eastgate Memorial Park and Trent University their home field over the past few years. This spring, Fleming College, in partnership with the City of Peterborough, will build a $5.8-million sports facility which will include two new turf fields and a new field house.
Brendan Sevigny, a second year Instrumentation and Control Engineering student and midfielder for the men’s soccer team is very excited about the prospects and benefits of turf fields.
“Most of the games that we play out of town are played on turf, so having somewhere to practice on turf should make a difference in how we perform at our away games,” he said.
Aside from the advantage on the field, the new location will hopefully spark more interest from students into their college sports teams. Having to play home games away from the school does not lend itself to generating a strong fan base.
“It will be great for students to be able to watch,” said Sevigny. “For the last few years, we have not gotten many fans out because we played across town.”
With most of the student population living on or around campus, having the fields right at their doorstep will be a vast improvement. Players will no longer have to worry about finding transportation across the city for games and practices and there will also be less competition for field time with other local organizations.
Varsity men’s soccer coach Tony Bombino sees a tremendous opportunity in gaining the new fields. With a modern facility, Bombino anticipates new recruits: “We are hoping that this facility will help us attract the best student athletes around and help Fleming College grow not only as one of the finest educational institutions in the country, but also an athletic powerhouse.”
This would improve an already solid team who are ranked eighth over the past five years.
“We can impress our potential student athletes, and their parents, by telling them that we graduate 92% of our players but by having this state of the art facility we are improving ourselves athletically,” said Bombino.
It’s important to note there are a number of different partners involved in getting these new fields built. Along with the college and local soccer organizations, the student administrative council has a big hand in the project. The student body voted in favour, about 91 per cent, to pay half the cost, $2.8 million, through additional student fees.
Construction is likely to begin in the spring with the hope it will be ready for the beginning of the 2013 school year.
(Kyle Dupont is a freelance writer and graduate of New Brunswick Community College’s journalism program. The Peterborough native grew up playing sports locally including winning a 2006 Minto Cup and 2007 Mann Cup with Peterborough Lakers’ teams. This column appears biweekly.)
Retrieved from The Peterborough Examiner (Nov. 29, 2012).