Fundraising for a full-sized hockey turf in Alexandra is set to begin, following the provision of an area for a new turf in Molyneux Park.
The Vincent Community Board yesterday agreed to set aside an area of up to 7500sq m in the park for a turf.
At present there is only a practice turf in Alexandra. Central Otago’s sole full-sized water turf is in Cromwell, and there is a half-sized sand turf in Omakau and a three-quarter-sized turf in Wanaka.
The 2018 Queenstown Lakes Central Otago Regional Sports and Recreation Facility Strategy said Cromwell was the ”main hockey hub” for the district, and recommended a half-sized field turf be built in Alexandra, a report from Central Otago District Council parks and recreation manager Gordon Bailey said.
However, ”if you’re going to put in a half turf you may as well put in a whole one. The costs are going to be very similar”, Mr Bailey told community board members.
The board agreed ”in principle” that the area be set aside to allow a full-sized turf to be built.
Mr Bailey’s report said advantages to having a full-sized turf in Alexandra would include the Pioneer Park tennis courts no longer being required for use by hockey, thereby freeing them up for other uses; the potential to share pavilion space with the Central Otago Netball Association; junior hockey players no longer needing to practise on ”sub-optimal” areas such as Pioneer Park tennis courts; and senior hockey players not needing to travel significant distances for practices.
A report from the Molyneux Turf Incorporated Society said almost 1000 people played hockey in Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes district this year.
Fifty-one percent of players came from the Clyde, Alexandra, Matakanui and Maniototo area.
Society spokeswoman Bridgette Winter said she was ”thrilled and excited” to get the community board’s support.
”This has been the result of many years of planning from the local hockey community and we are grateful for all their hard work to get this project to this stage.”
The next steps were for the society to work with the council to update the Molyneux Park Strategy Plan, and to start fundraising for the new turf.
Its first fundraising activity is an Alexandra Winter Sports Awards evening at the Alexandra Rugby Club Rooms on August 31.
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