Soccer Quest, known for running soccer academies and an indoor facility in Kamloops, has signed an agreement with Tk'emlups te Secwepemc to acquire four fields on band land.
One full-sized field and three junior fields are slated to open by May 11. Soccer Quest will use them as the organization's new outdoor base, with kids' academies and adult games taking place there.
Dave Spendlove, president of Soccer Quest, says the leased fields mean they'll be able to have almost all their games and camps in one place, instead of renting city fields in four or five different spots.
The facility, to be called Chief Louie/Pronto Soccer Field, will be located just off Highway 5 near the Tim Horton's and Petro Canada. The land wasn't being used for anything recently, according to Spendlove, though years ago it was the site of a swimming pool.
Spendlove is looking forward to running the second year of the Kamloops co-ed soccer league at the site.
"We started that last year," he says. "We had great success with it."
Soccer Quest also runs a winter indoor co-ed soccer league, with about 800 participants. During the winter, another 800 kids participate in different soccer programs at the facility.
While Soccer Quest will be the primary user of the fields, Tk'emlups te Secwepemc will have access to them for some events.
"The band has been fantastic, they've been exceptional in negotiations," Spendlove says.
The move to a private field is part of a trend happening across Canada, he adds, as soccer grows in popularity and the Canadian Soccer Association updates policy. Private academies are building their own facilities across the country.
The new fields will be fenced off from the public, and will include a clubhouse and washrooms.
Sometime in the future Spendlove says Soccer Quest would like to consider a second indoor facility, "but that's down the line."