The Cape Breton Glace Bay Soccer Association had a nasty surprise over the weekend.
The association discovered an area three by 12 meters in the field mowed down to the topsoil, causing sun damage.
As the season is about to begin, there isn’t much that can be done to fix the patch near midfield.
Adam White, vice president of the association, said they feared letting their teams play on the pitch.
“If they’re using this ground for practice, they’re very likely going to twist their ankles and a lot of slide tackles happen so they can’t do that because they’re going to get burned,” White said.
The association is not sure who caused the damage, but they believe someone was trying to turn part of the pitch into a cricket pitch.
The field is located in the Caledonia district of Glace Bay and is designed to be used only for soccer and as a walking track.
White said people had also abused the land in the past by riding ATVs there, hitting golf balls and using it as a dog park.
“Our players train and they slide [golf] balls and slip into the dog’s feces. It’s not really conducive to football, ”White said.
Cheryl MacMullin, president of the association, said it’s a regular occurrence over the seasons to see the pitch being misused.
“Instead of training with my team like I’m supposed to, I go around cleaning other things so they don’t get injured,” MacMullin said.
A few hundred children use this field each year in almost all age groups.
MacMullin said they just wanted people to be respectful.
“If it’s empty, go for it, by all means. But let’s not leave the messy ground where it can’t be used,” MacMullin said.
The association said if the problems persist, they may have to put locks on the doors.