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Collaborative approach to planning sporting facilities

Collaborative approach made to planning regional sporting facilities

Saturday 21 June 2014

Sport Waikato is providing regional leadership on planning and funding for sports in the Waikato, by planning for a collective approach when deciding what sporting and recreational facilities to build in the future.

In a consultation report released today (Wednesday June 18), Sport Waikato is recommending a more collaborative and co-operative approach to investing in regional sporting infrastructure. Chief Executive Matthew Cooper said “for the first time key information about the region’s sporting facilities was in one place.”

“This evidence-based report allows us to understand what facilities we currently have across the region and more importantly, what we will and won’t need in the future,” he said.

With over 70,000 registered sports enthusiasts across 60 sporting codes regularly engaged with sporting activity, and its close proximity to Auckland, the Waikato region is well positioned to be the sporting capital of New Zealand. It makes sense to optimise the funding and the use of facilities so that everyone benefits.

Sport Waikato and the Waikato mayoral forum have gathered evidence of sporting facilities in the region and their usage, to support provision of sport facilities to our current and future rising stars.

The Waikato has positioned itself as a centre for high performance sport, with many of our country’s medal winning athletes choosing to live and train in the region.

Population drift and current and future trends in sport mean that we need to adapt our approach to providing facilities. The future is all about working together in a collaborative way to provide local, sub-regional, regional and national facilities.

Sport Waikato is keen to ensure that future decision making is made collectively between councils, charitable organisations and central government to ensure the regional sporting network is the best it can be for the Waikato communities.

The report identifies three high-priority projects for the region, which Sport Waikato would like to see completed within the next 1-3 years. They include:

· securing partners to build two 4-5 indoor court facilities in Hamilton, at least one in the north-east of the city,

· developing a partnership to build additional aquatic and court facilities in Hamilton,

· building an indoor 25 metre community pool in Cambridge, once the existing pool has reached the end of its useful life.

The report notes that these facilities are all “funding dependent,” and identifies opportunities to rationalise and optimise existing facilities.

The Waikato Mayoral Forum, which funded the report alongside Sport NZ, said the report will be extremely useful in informing the spatial plan now being developed for the region.

The report is now out for consultation with organisations that have a vested interest in this area, with a view to developing robust policies and a clear plan for the next 10 years.

Mr Cooper paid tribute to the outstanding support his team has received from Sport NZ in producing the report. Copies are available on the Sport Waikato website www.sportwaikato.org.nz


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