This past week I drove by the ongoing renovations at Falzone Field on Trapelo Road. The new field looks great and appears like it’s almost ready to open. I’ve spoken with friends who volunteer with Waltham Youth Soccer and they’ve been told that they may be playing there by mid-September.
As a lifelong soccer player and local coach and referee, I’ve been following developments on this field for a while now. It took some time to become reality, but what matters now is that the field is almost ready and young and old can start using it. This is our tax dollars at work, meeting a growing need in the community.
Many residents might ask why we need more soccer fields in Waltham. Yes, we already have Veterans Field but soccer is such a popular sport that our fields are constantly in high demand. Watham is part of an exploding trend in sport. FIFA estimates that over 265 million people around the world play soccer and the sport continues to gain popularity in the USA from the littlest kids to the major leagues.
I grew up playing soccer. I’m such a soccer fan that as an adult I became a licensed referee and for the past two years I coached the freshman girls team at Waltham High School. By the way, I’m really going to miss coaching this fall due to my current campaign for city councilor here in Waltham. But I’ll make time to get and root for the Hawks.
Soccer has always been a big part of my life. Whenever I have a rough day at work or have a lot on my mind, I know I can count on playing a pickup game of soccer to relieve the stress.
I know that on Sunday mornings in the fall and spring I can ref an adult game and be inspired by seeing players in their 60s continue to play the sport and love it. I also enjoy seeing a young high school player learn something new at practice and then apply that lesson during a match.
Soccer has also allowed me to meet people from all around our community and from all walks of life. I’m going to keep playing until my body can’t take it anymore.
I applaud the city for the work it is doing at Falzone Field and the need that is being met by the new field. Let’s make sure to have a smart maintenance plan in place and continue to search for ways to improve our facilities across the city and for various recreational interests.
Remember, it is never too late to pick up a sport and enjoy it. No matter how old you are. Physical activity is key for young and old. Get out there and start playing!
Carlos Vidal is an at-large candidate for Waltham City Council