Ar­ti­fi­cial turf a real boost

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The back­ers of an ar­ti­fi­cial play­ing sur­face planned for As­cot Park got the huge boost they needed last week – a $575,000 grant from Lot­ter­ies.

The Porirua Vik­ings – who are jointly be­hind the $ 1.9 mil­lion project with Western Sub­urbs Football Club – re­ceived con­fir­ma­tion from Lot­ter­ies’ Grants Fa­cil­ity Fund last week. Con­di­tions in­clude gain­ing a re­source con­sent and spend­ing the grant within 12 months.

The money from Lot­ter­ies means they are now $ 300,000 short of the to­tal needed. Club pres­i­dent Bernie Wood was elated and says the naysay­ers in the com- mu­nity have been proven wrong.

‘‘All those that said ‘ this [turf] is not go­ing to hap­pen’ – it’s a smack in the eye to them, what are they go­ing to say now? We are very close now, I’m just thrilled.’’

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and a num­ber of coun­cil­lors have been out­spo­ken against the pro­posal, doubt­ing the va­lid­ity of in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from Mr Wood and Wests.

Mr Wood said the re­main­ing funds re­quired could be ac­cessed via other grants or pos­si­bly a nam­ing spon­sor, which he is keep­ing close to his chest for now.

Deputy mayor Liz Kelly said she was ‘‘ec­static’’ to hear the news.

‘‘This is a no-brainer for the coun­cil to sup­port and some­thing that is go­ing to be of mas­sive ben­e­fit to our city. It’s ex­cit­ing news for our sports clubs and our chil­dren, who al­ready miss a huge amount of win­ter games be­cause of the weather and pres­sure on our grounds.

‘‘I see a turf as help­ing to build depth in our sport; the thing is now for the city to get be­hind it and make it hap­pen.’’

Con­struc­tion and ad­min­is­tra­tion of the ar­ti­fi­cial turf will be over­seen by the Porirua Syn­thetic Sports­field Community Trust, which will have Vik­ings, Wests and in­de­pen­dent mem­bers on its com­mit­tee. Mr Wood an­tic­i­pates work will get un­der way early next year. Porirua City Coun­cil ap­proved nearly $600,000 in loans and a grant in Fe­bru­ary.

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