Part 1 of rugby club upgrade opens
‘‘People know this club has a special place in the northern part of Porirua and we're trying to bring in more of a family atmosphere.’’
The new shower and toilet block at Paremata Plimmerton Rugby Football Club was unveiled last week, the first completed phase in a $1 million upgrade.
The building, on Ngatitoa Domain, is a focal point for rugby in Porirua’s northern suburbs, but is not seen as a community asset. That view is changing. Although a Sportsville concept to bring sports and community groups together under one roof at Ngatitoa Domain did not gain traction some years ago, there is still a desire for something similar to happen, Keryn Martin said.
A member of a subcommittee formed by the rugby club to liaise with Porirua City Council, designers and builders, Martin said the $1m upgrade was an investment in the community.
‘‘We have a busy rugby club, with hundreds of juniors and a senior part that is doing well, but this club won’t be able to survive as a standalone entity into the future.
‘‘This week was about celebrating the first phase [costing close to $300,000] and involved about 250 hours of volunteer labour.
‘‘It’s really exciting and these toilets and changing rooms will be used by not just rugby players, but the other users of Ngatitoa Domain.’’
In his speech at the opening, Porirua mayor Mike Tana, who is joining Paremata Plimmerton as a presidents grade player, said sports clubs had important roles to play in any community.
Premier player Alex Hinchcliffe said the previous shower block had a ‘‘prison feel’’ about it and would often run out of hot water.
The new hot water system ensured that would not happen, Martin said.
‘‘People know this club has a special place in the northern part of Porirua and we’re trying to bring in more of a family atmosphere than rugby clubs are tra- ditionally known for.
‘‘We want this [changing rooms] to be available 12 months of the year.’’
The next phase - still to be fundraised for - costing about $450,000, will be a refit of the existing clubrooms and is expected to start before the end of the year and finish this time next year.
It is hoped fundraising, Lotteries and other grants will fund this stage.
The third and final phase, costing about $180,000 will be an elev- ated platform above the clubrooms, funded entirely by the club and will be finished by 2020.
Martin said it was important to note any donations made to the club were due a tax rebate, due to Paremata Plimmerton’s charitable status.
The demolition of the changing rooms at Paremata Plimmerton Rugby Football Club, before a new block was constructed recently.