A JUNIOR soccer club is pushing to be recognised as more than a winter sport so it can use sports grounds for training all year round.
Yanchep United Football Club held its first off-season trial at the Yanchep playing fields on Tuesday, but junior technical director John Baker said the club had struggled to book the facility because it was not considered a summer sport.
“We promote all year round training with our kids,” he said.
“The whole idea is to get kids off their screens.”
Mr Baker said about 70 children registered for the October 23 trial, and another 70 were expected to attend one from 5.30pm tomorrow night.
However, the club was told it could not use the ovals because it was already booked by other clubs and did not know yet if it would be able to go ahead with the second trial tomorrow.
Juniors trained on Tuesdays and Thursdays in winter, so Mr Baker said they wanted to continue those training days in summer for consistency and to avoid clashing with other commitments some children had.
The City’s community and place director Debbie Terelinck said the ovals, now called Splendid Park, were used by several sporting clubs including little athletics, cricket, soccer and junior and senior AFL.
“Yanchep United Football Club has summer bookings at Splendid Park six days per week,” she said.
“The City has been working with the club to accommodate their summer booking requests in addition to their winter requirements.
“The City will continue to assist the club with future bookings while also considering the needs of other users of Splendid Park.”
The club’s bookings include Tuesdays from 5pm to 8pm and Thursdays from 6pm onwards until the end of December, after which a review will be needed based on AFL pre-season bookings.
While the City offered the club bookings on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, Mr Baker said they did not suit parents or the club.
He said although other clubs had booked the ovals, it did appear one oval was unused during the sessions the soccer club wanted.
Mrs Terelinck said clubs lodged initial expressions of interest for new facilities, and the City then matched their needs with the facility availability and undertook consultation when there was an overlap.
She said Yanchep United also had ongoing access to St Andrew’s Park, and Mr Baker said that was mainly used by seniors.
He said the club had about 70 senior members and 180 juniors, as well as 18 junior coaches.
Mr Baker said junior member numbers had almost doubled in the past two years and national statistics showed almost half of six to 13-year-olds played soccer.
The $8.3 million playing fields and clubrooms opened in early 2018.