Since 2003 Hockey Hibiscus Trust has dreamed of a new hockey and multisport turf facility for the community. Now, thanks to a $75,000 grant from NZCT towards LED lighting and irrigation, their dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.
NZCT is a vital partner in the project, having previously provided two $200,000 grants towards the construction of the turf and associated amenities. “We have always felt good working with NZCT,” says Bronwyn Ellison, Secretary of the Hockey Hibiscus Trust. “They share a lot of our vision in getting more sport and activity in the community.”
Steady progress is being made on the ambitious project. The hockey and futsal turfs at the facility are nearly completed, including New Zealand’s only purpose-built Hockey 5s turf. The multisport turf is about 12 months away from being finished. Irrigation is being completed in stages and the final four lights will be installed by mid-May.
The facility has a strong emphasis on sustainability and customisation. The turfs will recycle all the water used, the LED lighting is the most efficient in the country and the shock pad is made of 65 tonnes of recycled rubber and plastic. The LED lights will be individually controlled, allowing energy to be saved when the facility only needs to be partially lit.
The local community can’t wait for the project to be completed. “In Term 2 we will be kicking off with a 26-team local primary school competition,” says Bronwyn. “We have always known that hockey is a ‘hub’ sport and that to increase participation it was essential to have a local facility. Our research showed that 52% of children wanting to play hockey would or could only participate if they could play locally, largely because of the challenging logistics of travel and traffic to Albany.”
Once completed, an estimated 2000 people will use the facility weekly, with 70% of this number being children. Almost a quarter of people will use the facility at night. “A whole range of people will benefit, not just hockey and futsal players,” says Bronwyn. “The Hibiscus Coast community will have access to an all-weather facility for exercise, recreation and sport. This includes day-time use by a couple of nearby landlocked schools.”
“The grant we have recently received is vitally important and there is no way we could have got this far without the support of NZCT,” says Bronwyn.