Top courts for Taita residents
Taita residents will soon be able to play on squash courts identical to those used for the recent Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Fraser Park Sportsville is being touted as a game changer for sport across the region, as the Hutt City Council invests in a number of major sporting facilities.
Squash New Zealand Chief executive Jamie Tong said the six courts in the new facility will be a major boost for the code, nationally and ‘‘potentially’’’ internationally.
‘‘This will be the crown jewel of Wellington squash facilities.’’
Council general manager Matt Reid is predicting big things for the Taita sporting hub, which is due to be completed by December.
Member clubs will significantly increase their membership and it will get one million visits a year, he said..
Stage one of the project included an artificial turf for rugby and soccer, and upgraded diamonds for softball. Stage two features a $13.1 million building, with clubrooms for all the clubs on the park, a cafe and a large indoor training space.
It could be squash, however, that is the big winner.
A specialist team from Germany will install the courts, which are being assembled in Denmark.
Squash New Zealand and the local squash community contributed $400,000 towards the project.
Tong believes that hubs are the future for sport across the country. Squash is a good way of getting fit and once members of other codes see the new courts, they are likely to give squash a go, he said.
An adjacent indoor training facility has been designed to accommodate a temporary glass court, which means it can host major tournaments.
Future development could include a second hockey turf, a sand based football ground and a $3 million home for gymsports.
It is all part of a council plan to provide residents in some of the poorest areas of the city with facilities that will encourage them to participate in sport.
The nearby $12 million Walter Nash Centre, featuring a large modern library and a range of indoor sports facilities, is attracting more than one million visitors a year.
The recently opened $6 million bowling hub in Naenae hosted an international event featuring the best bowlers from Australia and New Zealand playing in the indoor arena for a cash purse of $100,000.
Membership of the Naenae club has gone up from 180 to 750 and Reid predicts it will continue to grow.
‘‘They are one of the biggest bowling clubs in New Zealand now.’’
Council general manager Matt Reid predicts Fraser Park Sportsville will be a game changer for sport in the region, with squash set to be one of the major beneficiaries.