Mega bowls cen­tre opens

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

‘‘By any stan­dard, this is a world-class fa­cil­ity. ’’

Welling­ton has a new ‘‘world class’’ re­gional bowls cen­tre.

The $6.25 mil­lion fa­cil­ity in Lower Hutt, the new home to the Nae­nae Bowls Club and boast­ing three tra­di­tional out­door greens and one cov­ered ar­ti­fi­cial green, was opened on Fri­day.

Club pres­i­dent Ross Thorn had been look­ing for­ward to the open­ing of the fa­cil­ity for some time and was rapt with how it had turned out.

‘‘It’s out­stand­ing. This is as good as it gets.

‘‘By any stan­dard, this is a world-class fa­cil­ity. The in­door arena fun­da­men­tally changes our sport as it en­ables play all-year­round, in any weather. This is great for ca­sual bowlers and pro­fes­sional bowlers alike.’’

. Thorn said the cen­tre would be an at­trac­tive venue to host tour­na­ments.

‘‘It’s a great as­set, not just for Nae­nae, but for the greater Welling­ton re­gion.’’

Though some work still had to be done on the gut­ters of the cov­ered green, it was ex­pected to be ready for the New Zea­land Pro­fes­sional Bowls As­so­ci­a­tion fi­nals this week­end.

The com­plex also houses a cafe and bar, and the mul­ti­pur­pose clu­b­rooms will not only be used by the Nae­nae Bowls Club which has merged with the Park Av­enue Bowls Club, but the Re­turned and Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion, petanque and darts clubs.

Fund­ing had been met by the Hutt City Coun­cil and the fundrais­ing ef­forts of the Hutt City Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­i­ties Trust - con­tribut­ing $4.25m and $2m re­spec­tively.

Mayor Ray Wal­lace cut the rib­bon to open the cen­tre and said it was ‘‘one more jewel in the crown’’ of the North Eastern sub­urbs’ port­fo­lio of sport­ing and leisure fa­cil­i­ties.

The park was part of a broader recre­ational cen­tre in Nae­nae which in­cluded Nae­nae Pool, Bad­minton Hutt Val­ley, meet­ing rooms an­drevamped ten­nis and petanque courts.

‘‘It is also im­por­tant to view this fa­cil­ity in con­junc­tion with the Wal­ter Nash Cen­tre, the Fraser Park Sports and Com­mu­nity Hub and the new Town Hall and Events Cen­tre.’’

‘‘We are build­ing a pow­er­ful nar­ra­tive of a re­ju­ve­nat­ing city, one that has the fa­cil­i­ties to host re­gional and na­tional events and tour­na­ments.’’‘‘

PHOTO: MATTHEW TSO/STUFF

Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­i­ties Trust chair Kirsten Pat­ter­son and Nae­nae Bowls Club pres­i­dent Ross Thorn un­der the roof of the cov­ered green at the new Re­gional Bowls Cen­tre.

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