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Finish line in sight for new athletics track

Wednesday, August 08, 2018   Posted in: Earthquake By: Administrator With tags: recreation, sport, earthquake recovery

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 8th August 2018

Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub's first stage – an international-standard athletics track – is just months away from opening.

Construction of the hub - that combines regional and community facilities for four sports - is now well over the halfway mark. It will offer a 400 metre athletics track, 12 tennis courts, two hockey turfs and two rugby league fields when completed.

The complex is being built on a 32-hectare section of Ngā Puna Wai Reserve in southwest Christchurch. The construction has had to overcome a few hurdles with wet weather delays and damage to the track’s surface caused by vandals in May.

Each section of the complex will have a staged opening as the work is completed ahead of an overall site opening planned for next March. 

The athletics track will open in October, in time for the summer season, with the hockey turfs following in December. Rugby League and tennis facilities are expected to open in April 2019.

The hockey turfs have already received International Hockey Federation (FIH) certification and International Association of Athletics Federations certification is expected for the athletics track later this month.

Council Project Director Scott Bennett says the hockey certification is a major milestone with the premier turf currently the only one in New Zealand to hold the FIH Global Elite standard.

“It’s fantastic to know we’ll be able to host international hockey games here.  We’re really excited by the progress that’s been made at the facility overall thanks to the hard work of our contractors.  

"Knowing that in just a few months we’ll be seeing athletes out on the finished track, and hockey games underway is huge motivation for everyone involved.”

Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub is being built to replace several earthquake damaged sports facilities across the city, including the athletics and field amenities at QEII Park, the hockey turfs at Porritt Park, the tennis courts at Wilding Park, and the rugby league fields displaced from Rugby League Park in Addington (the new AMI Stadium).

Athletics Canterbury, Canterbury Hockey, Rugby League Canterbury, Tennis Canterbury and Sport Canterbury have partnered with Christchurch City Council to deliver the sports hub.

Mr Bennett said the $53.65 million hub was an excellent partnership between the Council, sports codes, philanthropic and commercial partners who have contributed more than $11 million towards the total cost.

“This hub means all the sports can share facilities and efficiencies.  When it opens next year Ngā Puna Wai will be a premier outdoor sports centre that allows Christchurch to again host national and international sporting events.”

Ngā Puna Wai will also provide two multi-use community playing fields, a shared sports hub building with administration facilities, public toilets, car parking, changing facilities, a children’s play zone, an athletics control building, and covered seating for athletics, hockey and rugby league.

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