15 March 2017 - Netball Rotorua is thrilled the Westbrook netball complex is getting a make-over and the first lot of work is due to be completed before the playing season.
Initial work at the Rotorua Netball Courts started in December with extensive engineering work being carried out to increase the footprint of the complex and improve drainage.
“We’re really grateful to the council which has project managed the whole thing with our input,” says Netball Rotorua’s Mary Thompson.
She says Netball Rotorua has been fundraising to upgrade the facilities and is looking forward to the work being completed.
“We’ve been there for 22 years but in saying that our courts have worn well.”
Mrs Thompson says the umpire run lines will keep referees safe.
“For umpires, it’s going to stop them from bumping into prams and push chairs and telling people move back… move back. Spectators won’t be allowed in that area”.
The project will be carried out in two stages.
The number of courts will be reduced from 20 to 16 and eight of the new courts will be premier courts which have umpire run lines for safety.
Rotorua Lakes Council’s Sports and Recreation Manager Rob Pitkethley says council has been working alongside Netball Rotorua to design the project.
“Netball Rotorua knows the game inside out and it was important that we sought the organisation’s help to design the courts so the facility meets Netball New Zealand standards,” he says.
Mr Pitkethley says sloped banks at the site have already been flattened out and will allow for better spaces for people to watch weekend and tournament games.
Phase two is scheduled to get underway next summer.
This work will focus on resurfacing with a rubberised product and upgrading the lights.
Funding for Phase 1, which will cost $489,000, was included in the 2015-25 Long-term Plan. Costs for the second phase are yet to be confirmed and will be dependent on the level of external funding which can be found.
Mrs Thompson says players will notice a huge difference when the new surface is laid down.
“It will eliminate a lot of knee injuries, ankle and body injuries, particularly knee injuries,” she says.
Sports and Recreation Portfolio Lead Councillor Charles Sturt welcomes the upgrade of the netball courts which will provide a safer facility for players.
“I’m excited by this project as Netball Rotorua has waited a while for it to happen which should mean fewer injuries when the new state of the art surface is installed. It’s good to see that years of dedication by Netball Rotorua to raise funds for this are finally becoming a reality,” he says.
Netball season gets underway on 1 April.