The Hanifl Fields Athletic Park in Hugo, Minnesota has now officially opened and is being used by both the White Bear Soccer and the Mahtomedi Soccer Association. According to an interesting article in Twin Cities.com, the park is located at 137th Street North next to the city’s public works building. The park boasts seven soccer fields, a playground, an attractive and energy-efficient public events center and concession stand.
The article goes on to explain that while the soccer project was already in the works, Sharon Hanifl-Lee, a resident of the area, helped the project to its conclusion with a generous donation from her parents’ Hanifl Foundation.
The Pioneer Press article explains the chance meeting of Hanifl-Lee and the Hugo community development director Bryan Bear. As it turns out, Hanifl-Lee became interested in the project because of the soccer fields. You see Hanifl-Lee played soccer all the way through college at Division III Gustavus Adolphus, and now her children play as well.
While news of the soccer complex stands on its own, I find it interesting that the growth of our game is finally getting to the maturity point that we see more and more stories of people who are in positions of influence who have played the game and have a true passion for the sport, and that is great news for soccer supporters at every level of the game.
“Having these fields available to the White Bear Soccer Club has been just fantastic,” said club president Jonathan Staruck. “We had a lot of our older kids playing all over the city. This really brought those kids to one location.”
White Bear Soccer Club has over 1,500 players participating in competitive and in-house leagues. Staruck says the new fields now allow his club to host tournaments and puts them on par with many other clubs in the metro area that have soccer complexes.
Please see the Pioneer Press Twin Cities.com article for the full story.