BOW VALLEY – Two new surveys are looking to identify the gaps in sport, recreational facilities and services provided in the Bow Valley.
Public input is being sought for the analysis by the Bow Valley True Sport & Recreation Council (BVTSRC) to help recommend what recreational opportunities would make a difference in quality of life for locals and who can best address those needs.
“I’m hoping it’s also going to reveal where there are gaps in the sports and recreation activities that are fledgling or maybe we don’t know how popular they might be because we have never been able to really have an opinion from people playing [non-traditional sports],” said Bill Fisher, chairman of BVTSRC.
“Based on that, we’re going to see what kind of themes or issues are coming forward.”
The BVTSRC, representing Banff, Canmore, Improvement District 9 (Lake Louise), the MD of Bighorn, Kananaskis Country and Stoney Nakoda, received logistical support from the municipalities in addition to a provincial grant and funding support from the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation for the gap analysis.
Two surveys have been made available: one for the general public and a second for coaches, technical officials and others related to business and sport.
Based on results, the BVTSRC will hold virtual workshops for further information before returning to the province and local municipalities with the results.
"We’re really looking at everyone from pre-school to active seniors," said Fisher.
Recently, the use of sports facilties and politics have crossed paths in the Bow Valley.
The Town of Banff council passed a motion to seek community feedback on having a potential field house as a stand-alone facility, or a temporary installation a the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre.
Some sport groups, such as Canmore Minor Soccer, have said a field house is a key missing facility for this area.
However, the new survey is designed to take a broader approach to help determine if the gaps are with facilities, services provided and/or certified coaching availability, said Fisher.
“We want to make sure we’re not just focusing on traditional sports,” said Fisher. “We have a lot of new Canadians and people who have maybe moved here to work in the service industry, who have different perspectives around what they would like to be able to do for sports and recreation and are we able to meet those needs?”
The survey is available at www.bowvalleysport.ca for the next few weeks.