Wednesday November 26, 2014

Yorkton Bulldogs homeless for 2014


As of right now the Yorkton Bulldogs Lacrosse Club has no place they can call home.

That’s because the Bulldogs, who have been a member of the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League since 2003, simply cannot find a place to play in Yorkton.

But it’s not for a lack of trying. The Bulldogs head coach, team President and General Manager Joe Choptuik has searched high and low for a place in Yorkton to play, even offering the services of his players to the Gallagher Centre/Farrell Agencies Arena staff, should they need help in setting up and taking down the boards in the rink. “They (GC/FAA staff) said they don’t have enough man power to take the boards out and put them back in around the other bookings they’ve already scheduled,” mentioned Choptuik. “So we actually volunteered our team for the man power to help put the boards in and take them out. But the say they are a unionized environment and they have only so many staff and they don’t know if they’d allow us to help (because of the union).”

That situation is unfortunate for the Bulldogs, who had most recently played their home games at the Farrell Agencies Arena, where they crammed a season’s worth of home games in a two week time frame. “Last year we got a window of two weeks where we scheduled all of our home games in the last two weeks of June because the staff at the Farrell Agencies Arena rented it out to us for those two weeks,” said the GM/Coach/President. “So we played all of our away games at the start of the season. That worked out excellent for us last year and it meant we had the nicest rink in the league.”

And while Choptuik tentatively scheduled his home games for that same week in June, which, at the time of the interview had not yet been filled by any other booking at the Farrell Agencies Arena, it’s still a no go. That means that the Bulldogs will have to forfeit their season if they cannot find a place to play home games. “We looked around for other places to play,” said Choptuik, mentioning that both Bredenbury and Melville at one point offered them a venue to play at.

However Choptuik, while greatful to both places for their offer, mentioned that he’d prefer if his team found a home in Yorkton. Melville and Bredenbury offered us a place to play but if we played there our players would have to pay out of their own pockets to travel for home games,” suggestion the Bulldogs heart and soul head honcho. “We’d also basically be the Bredenbury or Melville Bulldogs, which I just don’t think is right as we are a Yorkton club.”

Choptuik also believes that the lack of a venue in Yorkton only hurts the growth of lacrosse within the city, noting that children new to the sport don’t want to travel 25-30 minutes outside of the city for practices two or three times a week.

However Choptuik also feels that he’d rather the season go on with his team playing in Bredenbury as opposed to forfeiting the entire season. But he’d much rather see the club stay in Yorkton, saying, “We’ve always been a Yorkton team. Yorkton’s home for us.”



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