Artificial turfs for suburbs
City councillors say Wellington’s northern suburbs will not miss out on artificial sports pitches, although there are not likely to be any built in the area before next winter.
Wellington City Council has decided to install a new, full-sized artificial pitch at Island Bay’s Wakefield Park, along with the upgrade of drainage and a new sand-based turf at Kilbirnie Park.
During the past two months, however, the council and Team Wellington boss John Dow have been in discussion with northern ward sports clubs about potential locations for an artificial pitch.
On September 28, Kapi-Mana News reported on Capital Football board member Justin Lester’s quest for a turf at Alex Moore Park in Johnsonville and either Redwood ( Tawa) or Grenada North.
Councillor John Morrison acknowledged they were ‘‘ very conscious of getting into the northern suburbs as soon as possible’’ and discussions were under way with Tawa AFC.
He confirmed $500,000 in private funding had been raised to help fast- track the Wakefield Park turf, and a second would be constructed at that site if a further $ 500,000 in external funding is secured.
A Capital Football report to WCC noted that up to 38 per cent of games were cancelled in some leagues due to bad weather this winter, and training sessions were consistently called off.
Exacerbating the issue, demand for playing surfaces is high.
Between 2007 and 2010, junior football teams in Wellington jumped from 299 to 395, while senior teams increased from 142 to 166.