There was once a little girl named Dorothy who proclaimed there’s no place like home and that saying applies to a pair of Red Deer College sports teams this season.
The Kings soccer team and the Queens volleyball squad will be hosting the conference championships on home turf according to the College’s Marketing and Events Coordinator, P.J. Swales.
He says it is a regular occurrence for RDC to be hosting conference championships in volleyball but soccer is a nice addition and it didn’t hurt to have a solid resume.
“This is the first time that we’ll be doing men’s soccer conference championship,” Swales pointed out. “The hosting of previous championships and the perennial strong play of our teams played a role in getting those events.”
Volleyball will take place at the main gym, the oldest facility in the ACAC, and the soccer on the main pitch in the north east part of the property.
Swales contends the natural turf field is one of the best around and there’s also some folklore surrounding it, handed down over the years.
There are claims when Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium was being built they used the RDC practice field as sort of a guinea pig to see how things would work when it came to drainage for example, he said.
“It’s only legend, I don’t know for sure but with that said it’s a really great turf that the players are going to get to play on.”
Putting on these events will be an army of volunteers including RDC athletics’ staff, kinesiology and some business practicum students and volunteers from the community.
The school is also working with the Donald School of Business to create some sport marketing internships, said Swales.
“We’ll have some students from the DSB coming in to help us put on the championships,” he said. “I think it will be an excellent opportunity for those students and it’s also a huge benefit for the participants in those conference championships.”
As an added bonus, the two provincial events, one in the fall, the other in February, will have an economic impact on the surrounding area.
“When we’ve got 200 hundred athletes staying in Red Deer for the weekend and all the fans that come in to watch them, these people need to eat and to sleep,” explained Swales. “They do some shopping in between times, there’s a good benefit coming back to the community.”