Park in shape for fi­nals

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua Park is in great form.

The ground, fre­quently de­scribed as the best play­ing sur­face in the re­gion out­side West­pac Sta­dium, is set to host Welling­ton Rugby League fi­nals day this week­end.

Lyn­ley Veale, team leader of Porirua City Coun­cil’s four ground staff, re­spon­si­ble for ev­ery sports field in the city, al­most looks pained think­ing about all the play­ers rip­ping up his turf.

En­deav­our Park, Can­nons Creek Park and Ngati­toa Do­main are just some of the other parks he and his crew look af­ter. While the mild win­ter has been a bonus, en­sur­ing very few clo­sures, the hard work still has to be put in.

PCC’s leisure as­sets in­fra­struc­ture of­fi­cer John Cal­la­han says an ex­ten­sive pro­gramme of work goes in dur­ing the win­ter sports sea­son and in the off-sea­son.

‘‘ We’ve got sand car­pets here [at Porirua Park] and at En­deav­our, they’ve taken a while to bed in, but now we’re see­ing the re­sults. Noth­ing we do is in iso­la­tion and while we do give Mother Na­ture a boost, it’s leg work from guys like Lyn­ley that gets it to what you see now.’’

From Rugby World Cup train­ing ses­sions to Beard Tro­phy matches, Phoenix and Lions’ pre­sea­son fix­tures, Porirua Park is in de­mand. Parks su­per­vi­sor Ge­off Che­vis says they won’t turn any­one away.

‘‘ We would rather peo­ple use it, that’s what it’s for. Get­ting them to the con­di­tion that you see them in now is a real team ef­fort and we know what a prime as­set it is for the city.’’

Porirua and En­deav­our parks com­pare favourably with many grounds in Welling­ton and the Hutt Val­ley, plenty of which are be­com­ing mud baths.

Ross Bond, the coach of North­ern United’s premier side, says Porirua Park is a fan­tas­tic ground.

‘‘It re­ally con­trib­utes to the way we play, def­i­nitely the best sur­face out­side the sta­dium. There’s vir­tu­ally no mud in the chang­ing rooms.’’

En­deav­our Park saw 59 se­nior football games on No 1 and 57 on No 2 last sea­son, the most utilised sur­face in the re­gion for the sport. Drains were re­placed sev­eral years ago and it was up­graded be­fore this sea­son. Western Sub­urbs’ first team coach Lloyd O’Keefe says En­deav­our al­ways holds up well.

‘‘Teams love com­ing out to play us be­cause they know En­deav­our is pris­tine, head and shoul­ders above any other ground we play on reg­u­larly.

‘‘It’s a credit to the parks guys at the coun­cil, they do an amaz­ing job.’’

Pris­tine turf: City Coun­cil parks staff mem­bers Lyn­ley Veale and Ge­off Che­vis have a mis­sion to make Porirua’s sports­grounds look their best.

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