Sooke, British Columbia
Sooke is a small, blue-collar community
located on the southern tip of
Vancouver Island. Due to the town’s
isolated rural location and relatively low
population, it can be a rather
monotonous, repetitive, and depressing
place to grow up. In a town where
everybody knows everybody, and
options for leisure activities are
extremely limited, it is important for
residents to get involved in local events www.sookemyhome.bc.ca
in order to avoid social isolation.
The youth community in Sooke relies
heavily on recreational activity and
organized athletics to occupy their free-
time and shape their social life. The
favourite and most commonly observed
activity of young people in Sooke has
historically been basketball.
Local Leisure Spaces
Finding a place to play basketball was never a problem in Sooke until the
year 2000. Broom Hill Park, a beautifully kept piece of property in Sooke’s
residential core was home of the town’s thriving basketball scene for
many years. The city saw this park as a detriment to the neighbourhood,
as it attracted the presence of numerous youth at all hours of the day.
Hiding behind claims of complaints from the community, the hoops were
removed from Broom Hill Park indefinitely. This left local basketball
enthusiasts without an ideal space to play, but not without an alternative
option. The Journey Middle School outdoor courts sufficed for the eager
basketball community of Sooke, until the area until the recently
commenced a long-term construction process. This predicament would
leave Sooke without a suitable basketball surface within 50 kilometers,
and would surely have a critical impact on the town’s annual basketball
tournament held at the JMS courts every August.
The Annual Trevor Purdy Memorial 3-on-3
This tournament has been a tradition in
Sooke for many years. Originally named
“The Sooke 3-on-3 Basketball
Tournament”, it was renamed in 2004
after popular Sooke resident Trevor
Purdy following his untimely death. An
accomplished student-athlete and well-
liked member of the community, Purdy
lost his life in a drinking-driving related
incident in the Summer of 2004.
Proceeds from this event are given to a
local scholarship fund under Trevor’s
name, awarded to student displaying
strong athletic skills, as well as a bold,
outgoing personality- similarly
exhibited by the late Sooke youth. www.facebook.com
Without a proper basketball court, this
tournament appeared to be in trouble.
With the tournament’s status
looking uncertain, the local high
school basketball coach took the
issue to the city, requesting
permission to erect two portable
hoops at the abandoned Broom
Hill Park. The city denied this
request, reiterating past
arguments about neighbourhood
disapproval. Discontent with the
city’s lack of action and
questionable values, the local
coach took it upon himself to
remedy the situation. Two hoops
were erected at Broom Hill Park in
June of 2008 against the city’s
wishes. These hoops remained
intact for several weeks, and were
used copiously by local residents.
Local youths take advantage of the town’s new leisure space.
Neighbourhood residents show
• In direct contradiction to the city’s expectations, residents of the Broom Hill area
showed a very warm welcome to the re-addition of the hoops. The addition of the
hoops not only established a leisure space for teenagers, but Sooke residents of all
ages. Many families from the community stopped to show their appreciation for the
new hoops, extending their gratitude to those responsible for helping to create a
positive, healthy community.
• With all the support being displayed by the community for restoring this area, the city
had a hard time rejecting the request to use Broom Hill Park for the Purdy
Tournament. The tournament ran without a hitch, and Broom Hill Park served as the
perfect establishment for such an event. However, the hoops were once again
removed by the city a few weeks later without sufficient explanation, and this
beautiful, high-potential area is once again abandoned and useless.
• With Sooke’s obvious lack of available youth activities, why would the city fight so
strongly to oppose something as obviously constructive and good as this basketball
court?The Youth of this town NEED productive leisure activities, and are being
unfairly deprived by the city.
Estimated Youth Fun Rates
*Estimations based on independent and unreliable research.
An Obvious Solution
I propose a complete restoration of the Broom Hill Park
basketball courts, and further recommend the courts
be named after positive Sooke role model Trevor
Purdy. These courts will serve to establish positive,
healthy activities among local youth for years, and
require very little upkeep. The area is currently
abandoned, and contributing nothing to our
community. One small, inexpensive compromise from
City Hall will add immeasurably to the healthy
upbringing of Sooke youth.
A mural dedicated to the late Trevor Purdy at Broom Hill Park, Sooke, BC.
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