Everyone Can PlayField sport is an integral part of life in Richmond. There are approximately 10,000 citizens involved as participants in 29 organized sport groups, plus 2,500 volunteers (coaches, managers, coordinators) and 17,500 spectators and supporters (parents, family, friends). This is roughly 18 per cent of the Richmond population.
There are over one million hours of participation in organized sport each year. These numbers do not reflect casual usage of sport facilities or the school use of City facilities for sport practices and games. A lifetime of healthy recreation activities is available to residents four years old to seniors. There is also a wide variety of ability choices, from recreational participation through elite level competition, and opportunities for people with special needs.
For the past 25 years, field sport in Richmond has been operated through a partnership between the Richmond Sports Council (a coordinated voice of organized sport groups) and the City of Richmond. Richmond Sports Council’s group of dedicated volunteers, recruit players, coaches and officials, coordinate player registration and league scheduling, train players, coaches, officials and volunteers and organize activities, events and tournaments that bring out-of-town visitors to the community.
The City of Richmond builds and maintains fields, provides land on which fields are built and allocates the use of park and school playing fields. This partnership has kept the cost of providing field sport services to the community quite cost-efficient for the City and affordable to participants.
Participation in field sports in Richmond has undergone considerable changes over the past decade. Some historically popular sports such as youth baseball and football and adult fast pitch softball have experienced a considerable decline in participation. Other sports such as girls' soccer, ladies recreational soccer and masters' age soccer and slow pitch softball have ballooned in popularity. Some newer sports such as Ultimate Frisbee are increasing in popularity and demanding access to an already overused supply of sports fields.
The changing ethnic make-up of the Lower Mainland is spurring growth in sports that are popular amongst some of these groups. Cricket, field hockey and kabaddi are growing in participation in neighbouring communities and may soon be demanding field space in Richmond as well.
The fundamental challenge in field sport delivery in Richmond for the next decade and beyond will be: “How to meet the ever-increasing demand for high quality sports fields, so that everyone who wants to play can play.”
For more information about the Everyone Can Play Initiative, please read the first section of the Field Sports Strategy:
Everyone Can Play (excerpt from the Field Sport Strategy 2006-2011)