To the Editor:
As another sports season comes to a close, another year of student athletes having to walk or drive to fields and facilities comes to an end.
Warwick's student athletes are scattered around the city like an afterthought. The Toll Gate field hockey team plays at CCRI, the Toll Gate Boys and Girls soccer teams play their games at Bend Street or City Park, the Toll Gate softball team plays at Winslow Park next to the airport, and the Toll Gate baseball team plays at Mickey Stevens.
As a parent, teacher, and coach, I am asking: Why do we accept this and what should be done? The city needs to improve the fields at both high schools. It is time for the city to do what East Greenwich did in the mid-2000s and pass a bond that improves and upgrades the facilities at both schools. What would these upgrades look like? Field turf at both schools. Baseball and softball complex at Toll Gate. Why should we do this? Well for starters, these facilities could be used by residents and local sports leagues. These improvements would bolster people's impression of the facilities, improve student and residents' pride in their schools and facilities, When the field hockey team plays on field turf, I am tired of hearing my players' saying why can't we have a field like this? We can!
Also, forcing students to walk or drive to various locations is safety issue As a parent of a future soccer player at Toll Gate High School, I find it completely unacceptable that she will play her home games at Bend Street or maybe practice at City Park which does happen time to time. For after school practices she will need to find a ride to get to practice maybe with an upperclassmen.
As a future lacrosse player, I find it unacceptable that she will play on a football field that is muddy, wet and slippery even three to four days after it rains. Some of my field hockey players walk to CCRI which last season there was homeless man living in the woods near the field. Is this safe? The cost of the project will be an investment in not only schools but in our city as well. Upgraded facilities will benefit future generations of students, spectators, and residents.