Clubs concerned with field allocation
There’s a growing need to reassess sporting field allocations, a prominent Auckland football club says.
Central United chairman Ivan Vuksich says for years, they have begged Auckland Council for just that.
One of the top football clubs in Auckland, with over 60 teams and 800 members, Central United is allocated one dedicated field at Sandringham by the council.
Vuksich says this is becoming unsustainable for the club who fork out more than $65,000 every year for alternative solutions.
‘‘We’ve been all over the place - we hire out Onehunga High School, St Peter’s College where we train and host games. And a private field on McLeod Rd.
‘‘We keep telling the council for years that we need more field allocation and while they sympathise with us, all they can say is that there is just a general shortage of fields.’’
Auckland Council’s manager of sports parks Grant Jennings confirmed there is insufficient field time available to cater for the needs of sports clubs, especially over the winter.
‘‘Fields are currently allocated based on historical needs and use but we are moving to a ‘ needs analysis’ approach for winter 2017,’’ Jennings says.
‘‘This means the number of fields allocated will be based on the actual number of teams that a club needs to field on a Saturday.
‘‘Each team is provided with a fixed time for training per week, with or without lights, and 11th grade and above are allocated fields with lights. The overall need is tallied to provide the total training needs for the club for that season.
‘‘At present, this excludes the clubs’ needs for their academy or elite teams as we have insufficient field time to cater for these extra teams.’’
Ponsonby Rugby’s past club president and former All Black Bryan Williams voiced his disappointment over the state of their Western Springs outer fields. The club has over 60 teams.
‘‘The outer fields at Western Springs are often closed by council for training and playing. The drainage is poor.
‘‘Most of our teams between the ages of under-6 and under-13. It is a big logistical exercise when grounds get closed. A lot of players lose out on their sport.’’
Williams says since 2002, they have asked the council to remedy the situation.
Central Utd are one of the top football clubs in Auckland.