Sand carpet for Western Springs likely
Auckland Council is looking seriously at redeveloping Western Springs’ outer fields in the near future.
This is good news for Ponsonby Rugby who have actively voiced their disappointment over the state of its field, especially during winter.
The club has over 60 teams, most of them between the grades of under-6 to under-13.
Life member and former president Bryan Williams says it is a big logistical exercise when grounds are closed by council.
‘‘The outer fields at Western Springs cut up badly in the winter time and are often closed by council for training and playing. The drainage is poor,’’ the former All Black says.
‘‘We have tried for many years to have that situation remedied by written and verbal requests to the council requesting that the fields be sand-carpeted. In 2009, they were earmarked for sand carpeting and we were duly advised. At the last moment, we were advised that it would not proceed due to a rebudgeting exercise.’’
Auckland Council director of stadiums Paul Nisbet says the outer fields are currently being used for many purposes, including as a car park for Speedway, Motat events in the summer, concerts and festivals.
He says any decision to invest into new playing surfaces and the ongoing maintenance of these specialist turf fields will be predicated on its future summer use.
‘‘Given the compaction of the fields via their historical and ongoing use as a car park together with the lack of drainage, there are occasions during spells of bad weather that the outer fields have surface water problems. The state of the playing surfaces is also subject to further deterioration through their heavy use by sports teams during winter.’’
Nisbet says the outer fields do not have drainage and any surface redevelopment into sand carpet profiles would, by necessity, include drainage.
‘‘The future development of Western Springs Stadium is currently being considered. The requirements of current and potential users of the complex, including community sport users is being taken into account in this planning.
‘‘The redevelopment of the outer fields into sand carpet sport playing fields, with full irrigation and drainage systems, is something that may eventuate in the short term.’’