Summerland is showing itself as a community that believes in the importance of sport and recreation.
A regional soccer team, which includes two Summerland players, won the provincial soccer championships on the weekend.
And eight Summerland athletes, along with one coach, will attend the B.C. Summer Games later this month, where they will compete against some of the top athletes in the province.
These achievements are in addition to earlier performances by Summerland athletes, including several who have competed at the Olympics in various sports.
Such stellar performances are the result of a lot of hard work on the part of the athletes as they practice and train to be the best in their sports.
Good coaching staff also makes a difference.
But it doesn’t end there.
If we as a community want to produce top-level athletes, in any sport, we also need to invest in sports-related facilities.
Our municipally-owned sports and recreation facilities include outdoor playing fields for soccer and baseball, an indoor swimming pool, a hockey arena and a curling rink, beaches and more.
Sports facilities come with a cost.
Each of these requires maintenance, and some facilities, such as the aquatic centre, will need to be replaced in the near future.
Without maintenance and replacement, our sports facilities eventually will become unusable.
The recreation-related costs and expenses make up one of the biggest categories in the municipal budget.
However, these expenses are important if we as a community wish to instill a love of sport and fitness in our youth, and if we wish to continue to see top-level athletes from our community.