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Ellerslie Sports And The Michaels Ave Community Complex Announce Another Giant Step Forward Towards Completion

Cricketers and Footballers in Ellerslie and across wider Auckland can look forward to the facilities that the new complex will offer. This comes with the announcement NZCT has awarded the Ellerslie Sports Club a second major grant of $200,000 towards the Michaels Ave Community Complex Capital Works Project.

Female football playing numbers have grown from 65 in 2012 to 389 players in 2021, whilst female cricket players are also increased, having gone from 8 in 2012 to 63 last season and a recent training module for “girls only” attracted 180 participants. Although there has been significant growth in numbers over this period, football’s membership numbers have been constrained due primarily to a lack of adequate training facilities, with both senior teams and individual prospective members being turned away as a result.

The growth challenges for the cricket club centre have meant on game days the burgeoning community of parents and locals who attend games have struggled to get an all day service. Both clubs have suffered from a lack of a central hub to form a base for members/patrons. Member/patrons are critical the ongoing funding of the clubs’ activities and programmes and with new facilities this will be made easier.

Football Club President Mark Weipers says “The new facility will engender a sense of ownership and sense of pride in belonging to a community-based entity that values acceptance, inclusiveness, and friendship, irrespective of ethnic or cultural background. It will also increase a willingness to volunteer and help out the Club, a fact that football witnessed when the artificial fields were opened.”

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“This second grant from NZCT will be a real game changer. The project consists of a new two level structure, housing eight new segregated changing rooms, first aid, segregated referee changing rooms, storage and public toilets on the Ground level. Above it on an Upper level is an administration hub for the use of both Football and Cricket, a modern Clubrooms with catering facilities and two separate meeting rooms available for third party hireage. The first grant received from NZCT was vitally important as a key catalyst from which construction could start. This second grant will enable the project to be fully fitted out, and functional from day one”

This final part needs to be completed for the complex to function during the FIFA Women's World Cup scheduled for July-Aug 2023. The complex has been confirmed as one of the nine Auckland-based team training venues for the duration of the tournament.

The first part of the construction of a new amenities block on ground level and the exterior shell of an upper level admin/clubrooms/community meeting rooms was scheduled for completion in mid September 2022. However, we still needed financial support to assist with the second part including internal fitout of the upper level, partitioning, clubrooms furniture. fittings, toilets/kitchen, and meeting rooms.

The project site is centred within Michaels Ave Reserve, with both vehicular and pedestrian access available from several points around the reserve. The new facility will be highly visible to all neighbours and visitors to the reserve, and is serviced by the roading network, is a ten minute walk to the Ellerslie train station, with AT bus routes surrounding it.

This project will benefit the wider community encouraging greater participation in active recreational activities and establishing a variety of new/improved programmes/initiatives that target our increasing diversity. It will improve community links and networks, not only between community-based volunteer organizations and local business interests, but also amongst the various ethnic and cultural groups within our area.

The Michaels Ave Community Centre is a joint Capital project undertaken by the Ellerslie Sports Club, the umbrella organization for the activities of both the Ellerslie Association Football Club and Ellerslie Cricket Clubs. Both clubs have been operational for over fifty years and have worked successfully together under this format for forty-two years.

The Football Club is the fifth largest in the Auckland Football Federation’s jurisdiction, and is the biggest, single code sporting club in the geographical catchment. Together with the Cricket Club, they offer a range of sporting programmes for a wide and diverse catchment from community participation through to the elite level, catering for under fives to sixty years plus.

NZCT’s previous grant was $300,000 in 2019 for the first part including design and construction.

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