Nova Scotia

Cape Breton soccer field damaged over weekend

The Glace Bay Soccer Association was left an unwelcome surprise over the weekend. A week before the start of their season the association discovered a damaged field.

Hundreds of kids use the field every year and were preparing to start season July 5

The Glace Bay Soccer Association says the patch, shown here, is a hazard to kids playing on the field. (Brent Kelloway)

Cape Breton's Glace Bay Soccer Association was left an unwelcome surprise over the weekend.

The association discovered a three-by-12 metre patch in the field mowed down to the topsoil, leading to sun damage.

With the season about to start, there is not much that can be done to fix the patch near the middle of the field.

Adam White, vice-president of the association, said they are concerned about letting their teams play on the field.

"If they use this field for practice, they're most likely going to twist their ankles and a lot of slide tackling happens so they can't do that because they'll burn themselves," said White.

This photo shows the three-metre by 12-metre patch at the field in Glace Bay, N.S., that was mowed down to almost the topsoil in the middle of the field. (Brent Kelloway)

The association doesn't know who caused the damage, but they believe someone was trying to turn part of the field into a cricket pitch.

The field is located in the Caledonia neighbourhood of Glace Bay and is designated to be used only for soccer and as a walking track.

White said people have also misused the field in the past by driving ATVs through it, hitting golf balls and using it as a dog park.

"Our players are practising and they're sliding on [golf] balls and sliding through dog feces. It's not really conducive to soccer," said White.

A 'no dogs allowed' sign is shown in this undated photo. Signs have been installed in the past to try and stop the problem. (Brent Kelloway)

Cheryl MacMullin, president of the association, said it's a regular occurrence during the seasons to see the field misused.

"Instead of doing practice with my team like I'm supposed to be doing, I'm walking around cleaning up other things so they don't get hurt," said MacMullin.

A few hundred kids use this field every year in almost every age group.

MacMullin said they just want people to be respectful.

"If it's empty, by all means, go right ahead. But let's not leave the field in disarray where it can't be used," said MacMullin.

The association said if the problems persists, they may have to put locks on the gates.