Cowichan Bulldogs football in battle for practice times at Rotary Park

After decades as a primary user of both Rotary Park and McAdam Park, the Cowichan Bulldogs football teams say they have had their Wednesday night practice times at Rotary Park taken away to make room for a men’s soccer team.

The football organization says that a City employee who allocates the fields opted to give the prime 5:30-7:30 p.m. slot on Wednesdays to the soccer team that he plays for, rather than the Bulldogs, who have used both fields for decades.

"They have told us that it isn’t fair that a small user group – under 100 – control the field use," said Doug (Opie) Williams, the coach of the midget Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are allowed to continue using McAdam Park, but without the overhead lights, it will soon be too dark and unsafe to practice on, Williams noted.

"Football is a sport that needs more practice time than playing time," he said. "Wednesday night is our main practice night."

In a letter to Mayor Phil Kent, Chief Administrative Officer Peter de Verteuil and city council that was also forwarded to the Citizen, former Bulldogs player and coach Chad Rutherford expressed his frustration with the process.

"I cannot stomach that a City of Duncan official has seemingly used his influence and displaced a 30-plus-year tenant of the Rotary fields in Duncan, a pillar youth minor sports association, for his own entertainment," he said.

Rutherford pointed out that Cowichan Football, and in particular former president Jeff McDonald, played a key role in helping to secure funding for upgrades to Rotary Park, which were completed just this summer.

Although football games cannot be played on Rotary Park due to it being too narrow and lacking uprights, the field makes an ideal practice facility, he noted.

In a response to Rutherford’s letter, also forwarded to the Citizen, de Verteuil said the City is trying to sort out the booking issue.

"I am saddened that you believe that a City employee (and as a result, the City) has purposefully displaced Cowichan Football for their own benefit," he wrote.

De Verteuil also noted that staff had recently met with representatives of Cowichan Football, and that there had been no mention of the claims that a City employee had allocated fields for his own purposes.

"I understand there was some confusion with bookings this year, and that staff have attempted to accommodate all users of the field," he said. "The City values Cowichan Football and will continue to work to resolve the Wednesday practice time issue."

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thanksgiving Food Drive coming to your door in Cowichan

Next week will be your chance to help meet the food crisis

Cowichan Community Centre Elder College celebrates 20th anniversary

Volunteer instructors are the key to success.

Flashback: Teddy bears, dinosaurs, cougars, oh my!

Remember these stories from Cowichan Lake?

Drivesmart column: Clear your frosty windows BEFORE driving

85 per cent of the information we require to drive safely comes to us through our eyes.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Most Read