Letters to the Editorby Tucson Citizen on May. 05, 2008, under Opinion
A lot of leg work has gone into Rillito Park
I ask that the Pima County Board of Supervisors continue to support soccer at the planned Rillito Soccer Complex. Both of my sons play soccer for clubs that train at Rillito racetrack.
The popularity of youth soccer has exploded across the country in the past 30 years. Soccer has the second-highest number of kids registered of all youth sports.
Soccer requires very little equipment, so kids of all economic circumstances can play and develop fitness, camaraderie and other qualities associated with team sports. All they need is a field to play on.
Rillito is an excellent location. My kids play on teams with kids from the foothills, the East Side, the West Side, Rio Rico and Nogales.
These kids practice three days per week at Rillito. A second club also practices at Rillito. The fields are constantly in use during the week.
I manage three 8-year-old teams, and we are forced to share one half of one field among 36 kids and three coaches, due to the scarcity of space.
The in-town location is very important to the hundreds of families who travel to Rillito three times per week, 10 months per year. High-quality fields are a must, as the city really lacks safe, well-maintained options.
Please follow through with the soccer complex at Rillito.
Because I sAYSO: City needs to kick effort up
I have witnessed the successful growth of soccer in Tucson for the last 10 years as a parent (four kids playing), a coach, a referee and a board member of American Youth Soccer Organization, and I have marveled at the life benefits that good, competitive sporting events can bring to children of all ages.
The issue now is to sustain that growth in Tucson and avoid having to limit the opportunities that should be available to all children who want to play.
I have also been on the administrative end where fields have been in high demand and short supply, resulting in missed opportunities, overused fields, unsafe playing conditions and the extreme distances parents have to travel just to assure their children have a field to play on.
The conversion of Rillito Park to a soccer complex will be a giant step in the right direction and will place us in a competitive position with venues such a Phoenix, which has invested heavily in the future of its children with like facilities.
American Youth Soccer Organization board member
Tucson needs places for children to play
As a parent in the Tucson soccer community, I am saddened by the dearth of space our children have to participate in organized sports.
The average metro area the size of Tucson has 10 acres of park per 1,000 residents. It is a shame our average is only 3 acres.
I have two children who play for Tucson Soccer Academy, and there is a constant need for safe fields to practice and play on.
My husband has faced the same issues in baseball. Leagues have had to turn children away because of a lack of space. We do not want our community to be remembered this way.
We have a great opportunity to support our children by providing them the needed space and supporting the soccer complex at Rillito Park.
TAYLOR L. GAINES
Unbridled appeal for historic track
I cannot agree with the letters you have printed in reference soccer fields instead of the horse racetrack.
The racetrack is historical. Why do the soccer people need this one area?
I do know of soccer fields as I raised two sons here. I’m a soccer mom. But I see no gain for Tucson to lose its historical, one-of-a-kind racetrack in favor of more soccer fields.