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Improved squash facilities for Palmerston North

Improved squash facilities for Palmerston North

Hon. Trevor Mallard
Speech to open new squash courts at SquashGym, Palmerston North

Good evening Grant Smith, Gerald DeCourcy, members and friends of SquashGYM. I'm delighted to be invited to open this fantastic new facility for Palmerston North.

SquashGYM's three new ASB squash courts are state of the art and I congratulate the people involved for their vision and foresight - not only in developing a world-class facility but also in addressing some of the many challenges facing sport in communities throughout New Zealand.

Many sports clubs are struggling to attract new members, struggling to find volunteers and struggling to meet increasing maintenance costs of facilities. The partnership that has been formed between squash, bowls and the Cosmopolitan club shows forward thinking and if these clubs can continue to work together this will only be a positive thing for sport in Palmerston North.

As Minister for Sport and Recreation I am delighted to see volunteer-led clubs like this enhancing the opportunities for more New Zealanders to take part in physical activity.

Making this vision a reality has involved a tremendous amount of commitment, hard work and cooperation from a number of people and organisations - and of course it has also required a lot of money. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Club President Grant Smith and the committee members of SquashGYM for their efforts over what has been a two-year project.

I would also like to acknowledge the support from the Palmerston North community and the contributions of the Palmerston North City Council, Central Energy Trust, Eastern and Central Community Trust Unison Trust and other contributors who have all helped make this happen.

This is an exciting time for squash in the Manawatu - the sport is thriving and these facilities will benefit squash players at all levels of the game for many years to come. I understand that Palmerston North now has the largest squash facility in New Zealand.

Wearing my Economic Development hat, this type of facility will also be of benefit to the wider community. The impact across the region of hosting the World Junior Men's Squash Championships in July will be significant.

Congratulations once again to all of those who have been involved in realising the completion of these courts. These facilities will be a huge asset to Palmerston North for years to come.

I wish you all the best for the World Junior Championships in July and I particularly look forward to watching my colleague Steve Maharey in action on them. I expect a match with your local club champion would draw a reasonable crowd.

It is my great pleasure to now declare SquashGYMs three new ASB squash courts open.

ENDS

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