Lee Richardson, executive director of the Braefoot Community Association, sits near the association’s club house. Over the years, the group has handed out over $270,000 in bursaries to youth in pursuit of their post-secondary education. Wolf Depner/News Staff Lee Richardson, executive director of the Braefoot Community Association, sits near the association’s club house. Over the years, the group has handed out over $270,000 in bursaries to youth beyond in pursuit of their post-secondary education.

Braefoot Community Association helps youth on and off the field

Drive past Braefoot Park on any day, especially during the summer, and you are bound to see people of all ages playing sports or participating in some other programs offered by the Braefoot Community Association.

“It’s really becoming more and more of a social hub,” said Lee Richardson, executive director of the association.

Braefoot Park with its turf field and clubhouse is not just the physical hub of the association, but also manifests its larger mission: to help youth participate in activities that promote positive lifestyles which contribute to healthy communities. This mission started in the mid-1980s when the association worked with the District of Saanich, trade unions and Lakehill Soccer and Saanich Lacrosse to create the current building.

Other infrastructure projects that the association has supported over the years include various improvements to the building, the rebuilding of the lacrosse box at the park, and Saanich’s effort to build a new playground at Braefoot Park. It has filled this infrastructure with life by operating camps and programs that include soccer, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, martial arts and dance.

It also supports youth beyond the playing field through a bursary fund that supports them in their pursuit of post-secondary education. According to the association, it has handed out over $270,000 since 1989. And regardless of how they might have benefited from the activities of the association, many have remained involved with it.

“We love seeing people come through the program, then come back and volunteer on our board,” said Lee. “We have quite a few board members now that have been the beneficiaries of the park, and now they are coming back to give back to programs here.”

In this way, the association has created a virtuous circle that encompasses large sections of Saanich and beyond. Some 30,000 people of all ages and all background use the park annually, a figure likely to grow in the future, as the site has become the home of Saanich Sunday Farmers’ Market, returning to the park later this year after its inaugural season.

This ongoing evolution means continuing growth for the association and its leadership. Future plans include replacing the existing building with a new one to ensure adequate space. It might be a while until that happens, said Lee.

“But we are trying to save money to do that in the future,” he said.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Victoria police search for missing man, his vehicle and travel trailer

Last seen on March 17 driving white Honda Ridgeline bearing B.C. licence plate CG 4316

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Volunteer green team joins forces to restore local habitats

Partnerships with schools educate and facilitate remediations

Most Read