EDITORIAL: We’ll have to pay to play

Local sports organizations and politicians alike would like to see more sports tourism in Parksville Qualicum Beach. For now, their vision may exceed the limits of the region’s infrastructure.

In a meeting earlier this year, Parksville’s city council was wowed by the number of visitors brought to the community by the Parksville Panters old-timers hockey tournament, a four-day affair that filled hotels and restaurants.

Councillors would like to see more of that, and the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association is working to make it happen as much as possible.

But while Oceanside Place has proven perfectly able to host large tournaments — for everything from minor hockey to provincial lacrosse championships to the aforementioned old-timers hockey, the region has few suitable facilities for that level of participation.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Draft District 69 Recreational Services Master Plan was unveiled last week, and suggested little will change in the short term.

An expansion of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach is a major feature of the draft plan, and would expand the total number of 25-metre swimming lanes for the public and local clubs. But turning it into a 50-metre competition pool, let alone building a second pool in Parksville, are economic non-starters.

And don’t look for large-scale soccer or track and field competition in the area. Neither a turf field or a track are part of the rec master plan’s short-term vision.

Ironically, one venue that can — and does — host major provincial championships could be on the chopping block. The Parksville Curling Club, which plays in the converted former hockey arena at Community Park, will host the B.C. men’s championship in January of 2018, its sixth provincial championship bonspiel.

Club officials note that they are able to host these championships specifically because the club is an arena, but both the RDN draft recreation plan and Parksville’s Community Park master plan envision removing the facility in the next decade.

Parksville Qualicum Beach has many dedicated volunteers willing, ready and able to host large-scale tournaments and provincial championships.

With help from the local tourism association, they remain the best sports and recreation assets in the community. — Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

ECHO Players’ 2018/19 season announced

Qualicum Beach theatre company to show Peter Pan musical, Enchanted April and more

More Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Douglas-fir ecosystem protected from logging

B.C. Gov’t announces 980.5 hectares of protected land added

Qualicum Beach mayor plans to run for re-election

Teunis Westbroek hopes to continue serving needs of Town’s residents as mayor

VIDEO: Kite fest in Parksville

Colourful kites took to sky above Parksville Community Park July 21, 22

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read