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NZCT gives $125,000 towards Colquhoun Park upgrade

An NZCT grant that is part of a $425,000 upgrade of the lighting at Colquhoun Park is a significant investment in softball in the Manawatu region.

Palmerston North is hosting the Junior Men’s Softball World Cup in 2020. It is the first time an age group softball world cup has been held in New Zealand for 27 years.

The NZCT grant is part of a $425,000 upgrade of the lighting at Colquhoun Park that will increase the broadcast quality of the world cup. It is a significant investment in the event and softball in the Manawatu region.

“The grant from NZCT is part of an overall softball infrastructure build at Colquhoun Park of $650,000 with an additional $1.3m being invested into building upgrades,“ says Softball NZ CEO Tony Giles. “The Junior Men’s Softball World Cup is a huge event. Twelve international federations will attend the world cup from five continents.”

The grant is also a big boost to the game locally. Manawatu is a high growth area for softball and the Manawatu Softball Association (MSA) is the fastest growing in New Zealand. The 13-18 age demographic has seen a phenomenal 300% growth over the past few seasons.

“Great people on the ground is key to this success,” says Tony. “Softball is a whānau-based sport and the club structure is an important aspect of unity and connection with our community.

“We were elated to find out that our application to NZCT was successful. The opportunity to provide new softball infrastructure for not only a world event, but importantly to provide legacy for the Manawatu Softball Association, was a top priority. Colquhoun Park will be a leading facility in New Zealand and MSA will be in a strong position to host other pinnacle events for its membership.”

Along with NZCT, Softball NZ is partnering with the Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) and Central Energy Trust on the project. Sacha Haskell, PNCC General Manager – Marketing, Communications and Events, says that “The NZCT grant has enabled a partnership between Palmerston North City and the volunteer efforts of multiple community sports groups to bring an international tournament of a high calibre to the region. The grant has also supported infrastructure improvements for Colquhoun Park that will bring legacy benefits for generations across the wider Manawatu region.”

NZCT saw the importance of getting behind the project from an early stage. “NZCT has been brilliant,” says Tony. “The leadership of Mike Knell [NZCT CEO] in this space is second to none. They understood not only what our event represents, but the people behind it and the impact the legacy funding for infrastructure will have on the youth community in Palmerston North moving forward. It was pleasing to see an organisation really care about the longer vision and not just the project to hand.”

The Junior Men’s Softball World Cup takes place next year from 2 February to 1 March.


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