by Anne Marie Moro
Renderings and images from City of Langford
“2019 is on track to be one of the biggest
years for major sporting events in Langford,”
Mayor Stewart Young says “2019 is on track to be one of the biggest years for major sporting events in Langford,” And he eagerly grins and adds “The soon-to-be completed Westhills Stadium will be the largest outdoor stadium in the region, offering more sporting opportunities in Langford for professional athletes and residents alike. Something for every interest level—for our youth to compete at the national level, [and] for families watching our athletes compete on the world stage.”
What’s truly amazing about the City of Langford isn’t just the pace and the number of residential and commercial units being built in the region. Langford is also a city that loves its sports. It encourages active, healthy lifestyles in residents of all ages as a way to contribute to its community culture. A full range of recreational opportunities are available for families such as City Centre Park, the YMCA-YWCA, North Langford Recreation Centre, Goldstream Provincial Park, and an abundance of lakes and trails.
Even sport organizations appreciate Langford’s amenities: Golf Canada trains on the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course on Bear Mountain; the Rebels Football team plays out of Westhills Stadium, and Cycling Canada’s National Mountain Bike Team trains at Bear Mountain Bike Park.
Along with its commitment to a recreation culture, the City of Langford has worked hard to bring professional sport teams, training facilities and sport amenities to Vancouver Island, too. In the next few months, high-performance sporting events thrust this fair city into the international spotlight as a sports tourism destination!
It didn’t start with the expanding, 6000-seat Westhills Stadium; but that venue is a great place to showcase how serious the city is about attracting high calibre players and their community-led ownership groups to work, live and play in our region:
The Pacific Football Club [Pacific FC] is bringing professional football’s opening game to Westhill Stadium on April 28. The Canadian Premier League (CPL) will host 14 games in the 2019 CPL regular season the stadium, too. Those 14 games will be spread across a spring and a fall season that will consist of 10 and 18 games, respectively.
It’s a huge opportunity for fans and also for our youth to realize their dream of playing soccer at the professional level on home soil. Josh Simpson, President and co-owner of Pacific FC grew up in the Langford/Colwood area and had to leave home to establish his own playing career. Not any more! Welcome home, Josh!
On May 11-12, at Westhills Stadium for the fifth year in a row, Rugby Canada will be looking to secure a place, via the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens tournament, at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. The series is one of rugby sevens’ flagship competitions and offers our entire community a chance to watch teams compete at the highest level for not only for the coveted World Series title, but also Olympic qualification.
In addition to serving as an annual host to this international series, Langford is also the home of the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre, which serves as a critical component for the on-going development of high-performance rugby in Canada.
And that’s not all!
Bear Mountain will be hosting the 2019 Super Channel Championships in their newly-constructed tennis courts from April 23-27. Here is another a great opportunity to see the Canada’s top open boxers (ages of 15 to 39) compete for a place on Canada’s National Team.
Then, from March 30-31, it’s the 4th Annual 2019 Bear Mountain Bike Festival, Vancouver Island’s premier off road bicycle event. The UCI Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC kicks off the season with its notoriously challenging race course. Racers from various age groups and abilities will test their strength, endurance, and technical abilities on Bear Mountain’s pristine trail system.