The Dome Sports striving to be more than just state-of-the-art facility

The Dome Sports striving to be more than just state-of-the-art facility

Even if it is a huge part of what they’ve done, the vision has always been a grander one for Noah Welch.

The President and GM of The Dome Red Deer is immensely proud of the facility his team brought to central Alberta, a one-of-a-kind in the province to be sure and a remarkable structure to draw in local athletes.

In the four months since it’s opened, while the dome has drawn in thousands of athletes from across the province, there is one area where Welch thought they’d be moving a bit faster.

His ultimate dream in this venture is to inspire athletes to reach for their goals, use the state-of-the-art facility in Gasoline Alley as the springboard for those dreams. Big dreams.

“Overall, really positive feedback. At this point, we’re known more for just a beautiful facility. That’s encouraging on the one hand, but that’s really 50 per cent of what we do. My vision to build this place was never just about having a state-of-the-art facility. It was always to train athletes and to help kids reach their max potential,” said Welch.

“At the lower stages, the beginning of a career. We just want wherever that career ends up we just want to help that individual get reach their max potential and part of that is making sure they love the game and have fun.”

And in particular, use the coaching staff and programs that the dome has put together as the sounding board for those dreams, to help lift the athletes of Central Alberta up to the next level.

“We like to tell our coaches, provide a positive experience where the kid had so much fun and didn’t even realize how much better they got in a session,” Welch noted.

“That’s what we’re trying to do and the programs we run are super intentional. With our eight-year-old kids, we have the next 10 years in mind. We’re trying to map that out.”

In some sports, that dream beyond playing for a local club at the highest level isn’t always realized in this region. In sports like football, rugby, baseball, lacrosse and soccer – those dreams don’t include making it big, like it would for a hockey player from the region.

Welch ultimately hopes in the near future athletes are coming to him, saying they want to play in the MLB like Mike Soroka, a Calgary native or represent Canada internationally on the soccer pitch. A dream that he has no doubt could be possible with the right coaching.

“Our return rate is high and the programs are growing, so that’s good. It’s just that awareness, raising that awareness for parents and coaches.

“We all have these big dreams. I want to play pro this or pro that, there’s so much that goes into it. We can provide that here, it’s getting the buy-in of what it takes to get there,” Welch said.

“The Alphonso Davies, those are one in a million, they really are. But there’s a lot more than that in Central Alberta that could make it to the pro level, that’s the reality. They might not have the god-given talents that he has, it might be a harder road, but they can get to the same level as he’s got to. There’s just a process in place.”

One of the men tapped to do that is the dome soccer technical director Jason Blake. Blake is one of the only soccer coaches in Alberta to hold a UEFA Pro Licence and English FA Academy Managers Licence and is working hard with coaches at the grassroots level to help build up an understanding of the game in Central Alberta. He’s also the technical director for the Central Alberta Soccer Association and Alberta Regional Director for the National Soccer Coaches Association of Canada.

Beyond Blake, the Dome has assembled an all-star cast of coaches for programs in baseball, lacrosse, football and rugby, as well as bringing on a full-time strength and conditioning coach in the near future.

“For us, we have this beautiful facility for everyone to enjoy in Centra Alberta and we want organizations to come in to use it and help their organizations get better,” Welch said.

More than that we have this team of coaches that are super intentional and gifted with that they do.”

Spring training programs at The Dome start March 9th and more info can be found on their website www.thedomereddeer.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Artists of all genres are encouraged to apply for a variety of awards and scholarships available through the Red Deer Arts Council. This mixed-media work, Shadow Man by Paul Boultbee, has shown at the Kiwanis Gallery, operated by the council. (Contributed image).
Red Deer-area artists can apply for various awards, scholarships by March 1

The Red Deer Arts Council seeks to encourage artistic development

People lineup at a hotel for the homeless before the 8 p.m. COVID-19 curfew on Jan. 11, 2021, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

Legault nixes call for COVID-19 curfew exemption, saying it could used to avoid fines

The body of 25-year-old Kyler Corriveau was discovered near Red Deer on Sunday. He was missing since Dec. 15. Police are investigating his death as a homicide. (Contrinuted photo).
RCMP are investigating the death of missing Red Deer man as a homicide

The body of Kyler Corriveau was discovered on Sunday

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 456 new cases of COVID-19 over Tuesday afternoon. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Community Futures Central Alberta, in partnership with the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN), is behind the SMARTstart initiative for budding entrepreneurs.
New program aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed

Program offers mentorship, business advice and networking opportunities

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27) scores the game-winning goal past Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) during overtime in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ehlers scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets rally for 4-3 win over Ottawa Senators

Ehlers scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets rally for 4-3 win over Ottawa Senators

Canadian women's soccer team member Rhian Wilkinson is seen during a training session in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 21, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Former Canada Soccer coach Rhian Wilkinson joins England women’s coaching staff

Former Canada Soccer coach Rhian Wilkinson joins England women’s coaching staff

Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Premier League-Darren Goldstein **MANDATORY CREDIT**
CPL targets season kickoff on Victoria Day Weekend, providing authorities agree

CPL targets season kickoff on Victoria Day Weekend, providing authorities agree

United States forward Brianna Decker (14) and Canada forward Marie-Philip Poulin battle for the puck during first period of 2018 Four Nations Cup gold medal game in Saskatoon on November 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
Together at last, Canadian women’s hockey team reunites after pandemic separation

Together at last, Canadian women’s hockey team reunites after pandemic separation

Soldiers parade from Parliament Hill as they take part in the National Day of Honour in Ottawa on Friday, May 9, 2014. Canada’s veterans ombudsman is calling on the federal government reverse to restrictions on the provision of mental-health services for the families of retired military personnel. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ombudsman slams new restrictions on mental-health support for veterans’ families

Ombudsman slams new restrictions on mental-health support for veterans’ families

FILE - John Mulaney arrives at night one of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 14, 2019, in Los Angeles. A file obtained by The Associated Press shows the U.S. Secret Service investigated John Mulaney, but found no wrongdoing in a joke the comedian made on “Saturday Night Live” in February 2020. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

File details investigation into John Mulaney ‘SNL’ monologue

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, file photo, Tom Hanks arrives at the People's Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
From Gaga to Garth, Miranda to Moreno: Celebs join inaugural

Like so much this past year, the inaugural celebration will be like… Continue reading

A Honduran migrant poses for a photo at a road block manned by Guatemalan soldiers and police, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Some migrants threw rocks while authorities launched tear gas and pushed the migrants with their riot shields back down the highway. (AP Photo/Sandra Sebastian)
Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

Large migrant caravan dissolves in Guatemala

Most Read