As the track and field community mourned the anticipated loss of Saskatoon’s only all-weather track, many eyes turned to the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.
Then innovative thinking took over: Is it possible to build a du-al-purpose all-season track for use by speed skaters in the winter and track and field athletes during the spring and summer?
With the discovery of a special interlocking cover, the answer was a resounding yes.
By the time the aging track at the University of Saskatchewan’s Griffiths Stadium closed in August, track and field athletes were looking forward to training and competing at the complex’s new facilities in Holiday Park next season.
This winter, the new track will be covered and flooded for use by speed skaters, schools and public skaters.
Other reasons to enhance and expand the multi-purpose Gordie Howe Sports Complex abound.
“The previous facilities did not meet the needs today and they restricted the level of play,” says Bryan Kosteroski, Chairperson of the Friends of the Bowl Founda-tion, which is spearheading devel-opment of the masterplan.
Planned improvements turn that around, plus meet today’s guide-lines and create more prospects for groups to bolster participation in their sports.
“This brings the sports venues in Saskatoon to a very competitive standard where organizations can better prepare their athletes, and also provides opportunities to see provincial, national and interna-tional events,” explains Kosteroski, whose passion is softball.
As a former football player, Cam-paign Co-Chair Greg Yuel’s original interest was improving the deteri-orating, Gordie Howe Bowl.
Knowing how football positively influenced his character and his life, Yuel happily embraced the task of raising funds for the ball diamonds and other sports fa-cilities located nearby. He now describes the collaborative project as a way to “create a better com-munity for sport.”
Shayne Dueck, a campaign volun-teer and partner at MNP, describes another positive and long-lasting outcome: “It’s a really good partner-ship to build community through sport.”
While that explains why MNP donated to the Gordie Howe Sports Complex, Dueck has per-sonal reasons for helping raise the necessary funds. By participating in sports he learned about team-work and leadership, as well as developed an understanding of the value of overcoming challeng-es to meet goals, all of which have proven invaluable in his career.
As for the future, Dueck sees a day when his own children are old enough to use the complex. In the meantime, he knows having sever-al sports facilities, plus opportuni-ties for training and development in one location will make it easier for families, enable more athletes to participate and increase expo-sure for sports.
Community support, both corpo-rate and individual, is essential to reaching the $42M campaign goal that will make the masterplan a reality.
Every donation counts. Some donors may want their name on a seat or to honor somebody else by making a name-your-seat do-nation. Others may opt to give in another way. All learn more online at gordiehowesportscomplex.ca.