Victoria’s Beloved Green-space at Risk

This article is further to an incredible sample of the Times Colonist’s investigative journalism, which can be found here.

VICTORIA BC– Fall of 2013 has been a tumultuous time for Royal Athletic Park. The park was held captive for three entire days in early September by thousands of party crazed music lovers intent on ruining an otherwise beautiful weekend for the rest of the city, neigh, the island, with loud music. Some of this “music” even contained swear words.

Rifflandia Music Festival took its toll on the beautiful grasses of Royal Athletic Park. The park’s lawn literally buckled under the collective devastation of thousands of pairs of flip flops and, in some cases, even “chucks”. Recent estimates indicate an average of two feet for every festival goer. Unsurprisingly, the field is now a complete write off.

Unfortunately, however, the worst is still to come for the city’s beloved green space. A recent phenomenon, generally known as “sprots” is set to be unleashed upon the already devastated grounds.

Sprots comes in many forms, the most popular being foodtball. In this sprot, large men (women are not allowed on most sprots fields) attempt to hurt one another while stealing odd shaped balls from one another. Sounds harmless enough, right? Think again.

The players of sprots such as foodtball are usually clad in an invasive form of footwear, commonly known as “cleats”. As players conduct their strange rituals on fields such as Royal Athletic Park, these cleats tear up the grass, much to the delight of sproting spectators who guzzle beer and often fight amongst themselves due to conflicting tribal allegiances.

We spoke to one such sprot fan and part time player, Jacy Catlin, who made a compelling case for sproting events.

“Why yes I am a sporting athlete”. says Catlin, pointing to at jersey that says ‘sprots’ as he dribbles foodtball, trips in oversized cleats, and falls screaming ‘Sports!”‘

There has been speculation that many Victorians are planning a march on City Hall to raise awareness about the environmental impact of sprots on the city’s green space. In the meantime, however, many of us will just have to wait to see what sproting events Spring brings.


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