Letter: Athletic facility should be for all kids
I’m writing in response to Monday’s front page article about Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association wanting to build their training facility on a public piece of property.
In the article, Ms. Floyd states that one-third of Steamboat youth participate in SSWSC and hockey. That statistic may be true at the grade school level, but most of those kids find other sports and activities in middle school and high school. It is only the kids remaining in SSWSC and hockey that require a special training facility.
That is not representative of one-third of Steamboat youth. And what about the other two-thirds of the kids in the community? Many of them are underserved and can’t afford to pay SSWSC prices. Most of the kids that would be served by the proposed facility are from families that are not in financial need. There are many unmet recreational needs in this community already. For example, sports like lacrosse, soccer and basketball also need a facility to train and practice. And we could certainly use a center with an indoor pool.
I am totally in favor of building a facility at the property in question in Brooklyn, as long as it has 100% access to 100% of the community and is not exclusive to the elite few. Steamboat has been ever-so generous and accommodating to SSWSC as they have asked for more and more over the years both on Howelson Hill and at Mount Werner. And I certainly cherish the history of Steamboat being an Olympic ski town, but I believe they are asking for too much here.
It is time for them to buy their own piece of land and put their own facility on it for their own athletes. And it is time for Steamboat and Parks and Recreation to build a community facility on this land that is open to all.
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