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Canoe polo facility set for February 2020 opening

With help from volunteers, the aquatic facility being built at Mitre 10 Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park is on track to being open in February next year.

Construction began in November this year and the final result will include four canoe polo courts that can also be used for small boat and swimming activities.

There will also be an administration building to service canoe polo and the sports fields, in particular for football, touch and rugby league.

“Progress to date has been great - a combination of excellent weather and good management by the team running the operation,” said park chief executive Jock Mackintosh.

Through the Long Term Plan process, Hastings District Council granted $250,000 towards the $1.1m project.

Other significant contributors include Canoe Polo Hawke’s Bay, Eastern and Central Community Trust and NZCT and Lotteries.

More than 700 people aged between 10 and 60 play canoe sport in Hawke’s Bay, out of the 2200 registered with clubs across New Zealand. Given the love of water sports in the region those involved have no doubt the numbers will increase rapidly given a purpose-built facility.

Canoe Polo chairperson Kelly Hepburn said she was extremely excited by how quickly the project was progressing.

“The contractors are working tirelessly to push this along to meet our very tight timeframe, which we appreciate greatly.

“But if it wasn't for the volunteers who are putting in so much time and effort, we really wouldn't be this far ahead and on track to have our players paddling in what is going to be an amazing facility by February this year. Thank you to everyone for your support so far!”

She also thanked Darren Austin who had been taking drone photos to keep everyone up to date.

“It helps our community feel part of the project.”

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said with canoe polo growing in popularity the facility would be a fantastic addition to the regional sports park.

“This will easily be the best canoe polo facility in the country and we will be able to host multiple national events as well as other sporting competitions such as waka ama and triathlons.”

“This facility will add to the appeal of Hastings as a sporting destination.

“Our thanks go to all the volunteers and the canoe polo community who have been driving this project – we can’t wait to see it in action.”

© Scoop Media

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