The shape of the land behind and beside Luther Court at Redeemer University College in Ancaster has changed dramatically with the beginning of construction of the $5.3 million soccer facility. The work on the complex began around the beginning of September under the guidance of Graceview Enterprises.
The facility, which consists of two artificial turf soccer fields (one of which will be completely covered by a fabric dome from November until March each year) and a field house, will continue to take shape throughout this academic year and will have its full impact on the 2011-12 academic year. The impact of this facility on the athletic programs at Redeemer will be even more dramatic than the change in shape of the land that it sits on.
Redeemer competes in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association along with Hamilton’s Mohawk College. Mohawk, situated on the west Mountain uses city-owned facilities on the east Mountain.
Redeemer offers varsity soccer programs each fall to its men and women as well as indoor soccer programs each winter semester. The struggle for the soccer programs was playing on a below average grass field in the fall and in a gymnasium not half the actual size of the indoor field on which they compete with other Ontario Colleges in the winter. Now that this barrier has been removed, the soccer programs at Redeemer are expected to play at new levels and attract many more elite Christian soccer players to the University.
“The prospect of training and playing soccer 12 months of the year in a world class facility is certainly going to make many soccer loving students take a good long look at Redeemer as a very real preference for their university education,” suggests Dave Mantel, the university’s Athletic Director.
The soccer programs at Redeemer have already experienced some recent successes with the 2008 Men’s Indoor Soccer Provincial Championships, and this fall, both the men’s and women’s team qualifying for playoffs for the first time since the early 1990s. The expectation is that the Royals will take further steps towards being one of the top varsity programs in the province, changing the OCAA landscape.
The soccer facility will also change the university experience for the non-soccer playing student attending Redeemer.
“The dome creates more incredible opportunities for us than most people realize initially,” adds Mantel. “We will be increasing our campus recreation offerings by more than 500% which will allow us to give students ample opportunity to stay active and enjoy socializing through their participation in a wide variety of sports. These services will serve students who commute to and from Redeemer just as well as those students who live in our residences.”
The Ancaster Soccer Club is a major partner in the future of this facility. The soccer playing youth in Ancaster and Hamilton will now enjoy additional opportunities that are not available in many communities in Canada.
The soccer complex will also be made available for rent through Redeemer’s Campus Services department throughout the year. Additional programming is being planned that will help to make Redeemer University College’s campus a focal point in the sporting community in Southern Ontario.
“People from all across Ontario and even outside of the province will be making visits to our attractive campus on a regular basis. It will certainly give our campus a different look and feel,” said Mantel.