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Napanee family fights to secure all soccer nets

By Lindsey Harren [1] and Olivia Timm [2]

NAPANEE – A family is fighting to prevent another tragedy like the one that killed their son at a local park.

If Garrett’s Legacy Act [3] is passed, all soccer nets used by the public would have to be properly secured.

Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith drafted the proposed act.  Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala also supported it.

The next reading in the Ontario legislature is Dec. 7.

There are no longer any soccer nets at King Street Park in Napanee, where 15-year-old Garrett Mills was killed on May 12.

In Belleville, the city’s parks and space manager, Larry Glover, said that while soccer fields are closed for the season now, the city “uses heavy chain, padlock and 24-inch screw-type anchors on our portable soccer nets.”

Loyalist College’s athletic department checks nets on a weekly basis and before games, said Amy Hoskins, athletic assistant. The field is used for both soccer and rugby games, so the nets have to be moved.

“Since we cannot secure them in the ground like the ones on the lower field, the soccer nets on our upper field are weighted down with multiple sandbags to stop potential tipping,” Hoskins said.