The news this week that the Cowichan Sportsplex is receiving $1,067,684 in grant money is cause for celebration.
The funds will go towards the building of a new field house, which has been on the agenda for the facility since its inception.
This is great news for the entire Cowichan Valley. Already the Sportsplex has been instrumental in Cowichan being awarded the North American Indigenous Games in 2008, the BC Seniors Games in 2005, and the B.C. Summer Games last year. Local governments and other proponents have been trying to build the Cowichan Valley’s reputation as a sports tourism destination, working to lure tournaments and multi-sport events to our communities and facilities. The evolution of the Sportsplex is a key part of achieving those goals.
The new field house will replace two portables and house washrooms, change rooms and showers, as well as a multi-purpose meeting room. It’s easy to see how these amenities will make the Sportsplex a better facility to host athletic gatherings. It will also be important as Rowing Canada Aviron establishes its national training centre at Quamichan Lake and the Sportsplex.
In the past, some local governments (the Municipality of North Cowichan has been good about stepping up with funds and support) have been reluctant to contribute financially to the Sportsplex, arguing that as it’s located in Duncan, it brings little value to communities outside the Cowichan core. But that’s a shortsighted attitude.
When we can bring big events to Cowichan, the whole Valley benefits. We need the Sportsplex, with its track and other amenities, to get these events to come here. When they do, they are not just using the Sportsplex itself, but often other venues throughout Cowichan. The Sportsplex is part of a web of facilities that together, help our communities prosper. And that’s to say nothing of local users.
So bravo to North Cowichan successfully applying for the $1 million to enhance the Sportsplex. It will bring only good things.