Improvements made to McLeod Athletic Park will benefit young football players throughout the community thanks to contributions from the three levels of government, the Langley School District and the Langley Minor Football Association.
Members of the minor football association were joined on Tuesday night (Sept. 13) by MP Mark Warawa and Township mayor Rick Green to officially unveil the new additions and upgrades.
LMFA president Wayne McMurchy hopes these improvements will lead to an increased interest in the sport.
“We want kids playing football and we want to fill the grandstand,” he said.
Currently there are 350 players involved.
Lighting was added to the grass field on the north side of Langley Secondary School, west of McLeod Park’s grandstand. This will allow the game to be played later into the night.
An extension was also added to the grandstand building to create two rooms designed to store football equipment.
Another improvement is a new, fully-functioning concession, complete with a grill and commercial dishwasher.
LMFA will manage the concession and make it available to other user groups for special events.
One improvement still to come is the construction of stairs to give better access to the upstairs storage space.
All of these improvements were made possible thanks to a $102,000 contribution for the Government of Canada’s Recreational Inrastructure Canada (RInC) program and $100,000 in provincial gaming funds, through a major capital project grant.
The Township contributed Neighbourhood Initiative Program funds, and the rest was supplied by Langley Minor Football.
“Any opportunity to get young people involved in sports is worthwhile, and the improvements to McLeod Athletic Park will help raise football’s profile in our community,Green said. “We are grateful to both the federal and the provincial government for coming on board as funding partners, and that Langley Minor Football was so dedicated to making these projects happen. We know the lit field, concession, and storage space will be used for years to come.”
With $370,000 worth of funding, several projects were undertaken in partnership with the Township of Langley and School District #35, said Township Parks Design and Development Manager Al Neufeld.
“The Government of Canada is excited to have been a part of this project, which will give young football players a place to call their own,” said Langley MP Mark Warawa, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Athletes in Langley will now enjoy more practice time and space, and I’m certain that enthusiastic fans will be pleased to come out to this facility to cheer them on.”
Not only will the improvements make it easier for Langley Minor Football teams to practice and play, they will also benefit high school football teams, the Langley Rams junior football, and the North Langley Minor Football Association.
From June to December, McLeod Athletic Park will be a designated football facility, giving the sport full access to the fields, buildings, and grandstand.