Papatoetoe Roller Sports building set for closure
Council serves up another blow to the Papatoetoe community
Papatoetoe Roller Sports building set for closure.
Council force the successful community based sporting clubs - Papatoetoe Roller Sports Club, Sabres Inline Hockey Club and Auckland Roller Derby League - to look elsewhere for the future.
Since 1963 The Papatoetoe Roller Sports Club has been operating in Wallace Road Papatoetoe. The building is used every night of the week and most weekends, by more than three clubs and the public. The Papatoetoe Roller Sports Club is the most successful Roller Hockey Club in NZ History and also is the current holder of the NZ Club Champions Trophy.
The local community board is going to use the buildings current location as a new road to allow access to more apartment and housing developments planned in the near future. The Clubs have not seen any plans and are unaware of the timeline suggested, although they have been told that the building must come down in May 2013.
With no other participating groups for these community minded sports in the South Auckland district, the council’s decision to move the groups away from this site makes finding a new venue extremely hard for all. And to make the blow even harder, they are removing genuine success from the area.
The undefeated Auckland Roller Derby League (ARDL) is the current New Zealand Championship Club, and the Sabre Inline Hockey Club is one of the oldest inline hockey institutions in New Zealand. Founded in 1995, the club is one of the original eleven foundation member clubs of the New Zealand Inline Hockey Association (NZIHA).
Going further down, this decision by the Council will put an unnecessary strain on the national association, as all the clubs affected by the demolition of this purpose built facility are at the top of their disciplines.
The sporting arena has housed many teams and clubs at all levels but the forgotten users are the all-important kids and families from the local community. They will fare the worst from this decision, as the weekly ritual of going down to the (rink) for a skate, or going to learn to skate classes held on Wednesdays will no longer be available.
For all the thousands of local community users that have access to this building for more than fifty years - not only recreational and competitive skating, but other functions as well – the question arises “where too from now?”
The Council has not presented any relocation options for the Clubs or offered any financial assistance, even though the building is owned by the Papatoetoe Roller Sports Club. These Clubs are now being forced to look outside of their home community as they attempt to find a suitable facility, which will be a near impossible task given that the building requirement of more than 40 metres x 30 metres with no internal roof support posts, is a rare construction indeed.