It might seem strange to look forward to winter when the summertime sun is still shining, but for West Ottawa Soccer, the fall and winter will mean an exciting new addition as a second soccer dome is set to open at the club’s Thunderbird Sports Centre home.
A year-and-a-half ago, the recently-formed West Ottawa Soccer Club was thrown a major hurdle when the Thunderbird facility went up in flames.
But much like the club itself, Thunderbird will emerge stronger. There will be a new soccer dome with a field larger than the one that used to be inside the building, while the dome that survived the fire will also get new turf.
“What we’re looking forward to most is having more of a club atmosphere where everybody’s meeting and coming to the same place,” highlights WOSC Manager, Finance and Administration Vicki Lowe. “And we’re really looking forward to having all our development and league programs in the one location.”
The club’s offices will move back to Richardson Side Road and the facility will mean less travel time for families. It will make it easier for players and coaches to see more of each other with the domes side-by-side. And leagues will likely be able to expand, especially for adults who will now have a larger surface to play on.
“We’re a soccer club that tries to focus on youth development. We have programs for the recreational players right through to the highest level of competitive,” Lowe notes. “For those kids that play house league soccer but still want to learn a little bit just not at high intensity, we’ve got those programs. And then we’ve also got the very highest level of soccer, with the best coaches around.”
While players can strive to be their best by training at top-notch facilities with WOSC, younger players can continue to build their love for the game a bit closer to home at gymnasiums during the winter.
“We want to take our program out to the community where they can just go a few blocks sometimes,” Lowe says.
‘Envy of soccer clubs in Canada’
As the second largest soccer club in the country, WOSC is in a unique position to be able to lease the Thunderbird facility from TMSI Sports Management as its anchor tenant. That means WOSC can book field time when it wants and when it works best for everyone.
“I think they’re the envy of all soccer clubs in Canada to have their own facility that they can call home. It’s definitely the way of the future,” says TMSI President Darin McCorriston, saluting WOSC’s “forward-thinking and strategic” board of directors. “This is more of a partnership versus a landlord/tenant agreement. We’ve been very proud to have partnered with West Ottawa Soccer. It’s probably the best partnership, and tenant, I’ve had in 25 years.”
Construction is going very well on the new dome, notes McCorriston, who is cautiously optimistic it will open in early October. Registration opens in mid-August for WOSC’s winter programming, which begins on Oct. 13.
Visit wosc.com or call 613-831-1135 for more information.