Champion wanted for sport complex
Bruce Magan reckons he’s a patient man but he’s hoping the wait to build a new sports complex he’s backing will soon be over.
Almost a decade ago Magan set aside $750,000 to go towards building a multi-sport indoor complex for Matamata but so far no one has come forward to ‘‘champion’’ the project.
That may change over the coming months with a new set of councillors just elected to the Matamata-Piako District Council.
‘‘I’ve been talking to council about this project on and off for nine years now. The council has paid lip service to it really with no one prepared to take it on.
‘‘Meanwhile we’ve had the council allocate $6.5 million to a new [civic] centre here and help to build a stadium in Te Aroha, similar to the one we want here in Matamata for a town twice the size.’’
Magan said he talked with each of the five candidates who contested the four seats on the Matamata Ward for the council and was pleased by their feedback.
‘‘When the new council is formed I believe some of those candidates will back the project and we may see someone come forward to champion it.
‘‘There is a good possibility we’ll get some horse power behind the proposal, something we’ve not had before.’’
Magan, a former councillor, is working on the project with Matamata Futures. The two have commissioned a structural engineer to look at the viability of extending Headon Stadium, a pro- posal the council has earmarked $2m for.
‘‘We are also asking for $2m, at this stage, to build the sport complex. To me, Headon Stadium has had its day and spending $2m on it doesn’t make sense.
‘‘We hope once this report is done it will clarify that because at the moment it’s just my opinion, and I accept that.’’
Magan grew up in Matamata and now lives in Mt Maunganui. He still feels connected to the town and wanted the sport complex to be an asset young people of Matamata could use to excel in and enjoy.
‘‘I’ve been involved in sport all my life.
‘‘The people you meet and skills you learn from team sport are very valuable. I’m also a great believer in physical activity because the rate of obesity is an issue for many towns around New Zealand.’’