An artist’s rendition of the proposed multisport court at Falher. Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A group of Smoky River Region residents are working hard to introduce a multisport court to their region, hoping to provide recreational opportunities to a variety of sports enthusiasts.

The Smoky River Outdoor Community Multisport Court organizers are attempting to raise enough funds to build the court that will feature a basketball court that will include lines to play other sports.

Committee Chair Christine Aubin says they have roughly $160,000 of their projected $400,000 raised, and they are excited that the project will bring an outdoor facility to the region to allow the community to learn different sports.

“We would like to build one full-sized basketball court, which will include one tennis court, three pickleball courts and ball hockey,” she says.

“The court will be fenced in with lines drawn for its respective sport,” she adds.

Building of the structure will not commence until the group has 80 per cent of its funding in place.

“A project of this magnitude costs over $400,000, we have been fundraising for this community project for over a year,” she says. “Once we reach 60 per cent of our goal, we will be applying for the CFEP (Community Facility Enhancement Project) grant.”

Aubin explains that community recreation facilities are essential to improving the quality of life in the town and surrounding communities, a major driver for the people on the committee.

“Communities such as ours often bond through recreation,” says Aubin.

“The installation of Community Outdoor Sports Court promotes outdoor physical activity which is extremely beneficial for overall health. Our purpose is to bring more outdoor leisurely summer activities to the town of Falher, as well as the M.D. of Smoky River, specifically for the 12 to 99 years of age.”

Aubin says there are already a lot of recreational opportunities for the younger population in the region, including parks, a splash park, and a swimming pool, but this committee would like to diversify the activities to provide overall health and wellness to the entirety of the community.

“We believe our project will improve the community for the social benefits and well-being of all our citizens,” she says.

“It is open to the public we really want to stress that this is a community project and not a school project.”

The new court will be built behind the Villa Beausejour in Falher, adjacent to the new baseball fields on the east side of town.

“We have sent in a request to the Town of Falher that the road going west to east by the baseball fields be extended with a cul-de-sac, for additional parking,” says Aubin. “With this road, the sports court and volleyball courts will be accessible through the back with close parking.”

Aubin says their committee is excited to get this project into the building phase because they feel the area needs a place where all demographics are welcomed in a sports court that will be free for everyone to use.

“It will be a place to come together and unwind, play different sports,” she says, noting Frisbee golf, volleyball, tennis, basketball, pickleball and ball hockey, “Or people will be able to simply sit and watch a game between family and friends.”

Aubin says the project was initiated during Covid when all indoor facilities were closed, and the need for an outdoor sports facility was evident.

“We have accomplished Phase 1 of our project, we built two beautiful beach volleyball courts and installed a disc catcher for Frisbee toss,” she says. “Total of that project was around $50,000. There were drop-in beach volleyball nights throughout the summer and we even hosted a beach volleyball tournament during Falher Honey Festival.”

Aubin says with more young adults moving back to the region, the addition will help provide them with fun extracurricular activities to do without leaving the community.

“We have a few fundraisers happening, we are selling prize calendars for a cost of $20 each, for which we have over $5,000 in prizes,” she says.

“We are also hosted our annual Adult Volleyball Tournament. We had nine teams registered for a one-day tournament last Saturday.”

The group is also planning to organize their second annual beach volleyball tournament during the Falher Honey Festival with all proceeds going to the project.

“The community has been very supportive towards this project, and we have received numerous donations for our prize calendars as well as monetary donations,” says Aubin.

“We are very grateful that the community believes in our project. The community can support us by participating in our fundraisers and letting us know of any grants available through out their companies.”

If you would like more information about the sports court, or would like to see more about the group’s fundraisers, please email Christine at cdaubin27@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page Smoky River Outdoor Community Multisport Court and Beach Volleyball.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News – southpeacenews.com

Original Published on Mar 20, 2024 at 04:45

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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