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Delta throwback: Wanting better sports facilities

City forms special committee in 1965
Delta Optimist Throwback sports
A September 1965 soccer match at Memorial Park between the Ladner Sport Shop (striped sweaters) and South Delta Wolves who won. Delta Optimist file.

“I still think boys are more important than grass.”

That’s what Dr. J.O. Bowman, speaker for the newly formed Delta Amateur Sports Association, told Delta’s parks commission at a heated meeting in July 1965, demanding better sports facilities for youth.

The new association included representatives from Delta soccer, football, baseball and softball amateur groups, representing over 1,500 players.

They were determined to improve the immediate and long-term needs for sports facilities in Delta.

The lack of facilities, poor condition of South Delta’s playing fields and scheduling conflicts were the biggest issues for sports groups that year.

Commission chair Bill Clipperton at the meeting announced that a special committee would be formed to investigate the parks needs of the municipality.

He noted a report would be coming to council that fall, likely with recommendations that would include having a referendum authorizing the purchase of necessary land.

Fast forward to 2020 and the city has been working on a new a new master plan for its parks and recreation facilities.

Mayor George Harvie established a task force last year to discuss outdoor field needs, as well an indoor facility demands, working in consultation with user groups.

That group met a few times prior to the pandemic.