Part 1 of rugby club up­grade opens

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - KRIS DANDO

‘‘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.

PHOTO: PAUL LATHAM

The de­mo­li­tion of the chang­ing rooms at Pare­mata Plim­mer­ton Rugby Foot­ball Club, be­fore a new block was con­structed re­cently.

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