The University of British Columbia and community outdoor sports programs scored a big field goal today at UBC's Okanagan campus with the official opening of the Nonis Sports Field.
The facility includes a 153m by 75m artificial turf sports field, 300-seat bleachers, team rooms and washrooms, and full-field lighting. It was made possible by a $500,000 gift to the university from the Nonis family of Kelowna, and $213,333 from the Government of Canada's Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program, a major job-creating investment from Canada’s Economic Action Plan. UBC funded the remainder of the $1.2-million initiative.
"This artificial field extends our season dramatically," said Rob Johnson, Director of Athletics and Recreation, at the opening ceremony this morning. "We are extremely grateful to the entire Nonis family, whose support has provided the facilities to run our Heat soccer and community recreational soccer further into the fall and earlier in the spring, as well as add ultimate Frisbee, an intramural rugby program, and many other field sports as the community's needs change over time."
"This is a way our family can give back to our community -- a community that has been very good to us for many years," said Dan Nonis, speaking on behalf of the Nonis family. "By supporting the creation of this field, we hope to see generations of young people benefit from their activities in sport."
The artificial turf field meets international standards for soccer, Canadian football, field hockey and field lacrosse. It replaced a natural grass surface that was closed from the end of October through April.
"This is a tremendous new recreational facility for UBC and the communities of the Central Okanagan," said Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country. "The Government of Canada is investing in our youth, and our community's fitness and vitality by helping to establish a full-featured university sports field that will be widely used throughout much of the year."
The only other field of its kind in the Central Okanagan is the Kelowna Artificial Turf Field at Mission District Park on Gordon Drive.
"We're very keen to provide students and the wider community with a wide range of recreational opportunities on campus," said Doug Owram, UBC Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Okanagan campus. "Thanks to the Nonis family and the Government of Canada, this sports complex will allow us to achieve great things in outdoor varsity athletics and offer our community unprecedented access to the very best facilities."
The artificial turf consists of a permeated plastic carpet with plastic grass blades covered with layers of silica sand and crumb rubber to hold the blades erect. The field also features a heat-reflecting surface layer of crumb rubber.
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