Napier Courier




Ensuring spectators have the best experience­s at McLean Park is one of the

key focuses for recently appointed manager Dan Rodden.

“People love to watch sports, they’re great supporters here. Our role is to make that experience great, whether we win or not. We need to make sure the service is to the highest standard, so they don’t want to stay home to watch a game, they want to come here.”

McLean Park is nationally renowned for its amazing cricket pitches, hosts several internatio­nal matches a year, and has

been a great home for the Central Stags. It also hosts local favourites the Magpies, the current Ranfurly Shield holders, and

internatio­nally important matches, such as the recent Hurricanes and Force clash.

What about concerts in future? “We’re in a better position now to look at additional types of events. When it happens, hopefully in the near future, we’ll need the public to support it.”

As the former General Manager of

Pettigrew Green Arena, Dan has noticed the difference­s between running indoor

and outdoor facilities.

He would like to increase the workforce - both paid and voluntary – a streamline­d behind-the-scenes crew is crucial to events being run successful­ly.

Following study at the NZ Institute of Sport, Dan worked as an events coordinato­r for Sport Manawatu, and

became a personal trainer.

He moved to Australia for four years with his now wife Jaimiee, again working as a personal trainer and worked stints on the Australian University Games, Australia’s biggest annual multi-sport event.

They returned to Hawke’s Bay several years ago.

Dan is from a sports-mad family, has

played cricket and rugby to senior level, and coached rugby for several years since finishing playing. These days his coaching is of a different kind, for the Taradale Kindy Rippa team, which includes

daughter Poppy, four. Six-year-old son Cruz plays 6th grade at Taradale as well.

Fully utilising the facility, not only the playing surface but including the Rodney Green Centennial Events Centre once it reopens, is very important in this role.

“How can we position ourselves to have concerts, host matches such as the Hurricanes and continue to be a great facility for both the Central Stags and the Magpies? That’s my main job this year.”

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