Since the start of classes this semester, the South Field has experienced some closures that left students wondering.

The UTM community was informed by email a few weeks before classes of a temporary parking shortage, being told that “Parking rearrangements will have a temporary impact on the location of UTM’s recreational, intramural and Varsity sports teams.”

Speaking with Kenneth Duncliffe, the director of physical education, athletics and recreation at UTM, the South Field’s involvement is clarified. The “parking crisis” is the reason arrangements were needed, including preparing the field to be available for parking, in the case that the shortage would not be solved before students arrived.

In order to protect the field from being damaged, a protective mesh was put in place. Fortunately, UTM did not need to use the South Field after all, but the long process of preparing the field is what caused the extended closures. The field should be reopened within the coming week.

Cameron Walker, the program coordinator of the department of physical education, athletics and recreation, explained that students usually make this observation during the middle of the day, when the field is not used as much due to classes.

The South Field is used mostly in the evening, from about 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. There are a variety of groups who use the field extensively, including Varsity, D-leagues, campus rec leagues, and drop-in sports. Sports played at UTM include soccer, rugby, cricket, flag football, badminton, cross country, golf, squash, and many more.

Walker said that he would love to see more students using the South Field during the underused hours. Any UTM student can sign out sports equipment and use the field when it is not booked.

When it comes to the future of the South Field, the issue of not being able to use it when it rains has been addressed. As with any field, when the weather is poor, it may become difficult to use it to its full potential. Duncliffe suggests an artificial turf being put into place, and says it is “certainly in our master plan of what we’d like to see on our South Field.”

The South Field has been lonely since the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts abandoned UTM as their primary training facility in 2014 to play on a less rigid York University artificial turf surface.

If you’re on a sport that trains on the South Field, prepare for the endless amounts of laundry.

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