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Major Investments A Boost For The Local Play, Active Recreation And Sport Sector

It has been great to see so much investment going into new facilities for the play, active recreation, and sport sector across Hawke’s Bay.

The Government, local councils and other funders have supported new and improved facilities for our Hawke’s Bay community. Once completed, these will be the envy of many and hopefully as a result will see more tamariki and rangatahi playing basketball, volleyball, swimming or just out there having fun at our indoor and outdoor facilities and amenities.

Recent investment announcements have seen $32 million be approved for Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust’s new 50 metre aquatic facility at the Mitre10 Sports Park with a further $6.4 million to expand Pettigrew.Green Arena from 3 to 11 indoor courts.

The funding comes from money set aside for shovel-ready projects in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced in Budget 2020.

As well as benefitting our sector, projects such as this also benefit businesses in construction and service sectors, and in a host of other industries like tourism, accommodation and hospitality.

This announcement combined with the investment by local councils into destination playgrounds such as Flaxmere Park, Cornwall Park, Anderson Park and Wairoa Playground and hockey and netball facilities at Central Park in Waipukurau create more opportunities for our young people to be active.

And it isn’t only councils and government funding these projects, Basketball Hawke’s Bay have done an outstanding job in the development of two outdoor courts at their headquarters in Marewa, an asset set to benefit many budding basketball players.

Hawke’s Bay has for a long time had a shortage of indoor court space and the recent announcement from the Government regarding the Pettigrew.Green Arena will give fast growing sports such as basketball, volleyball and futsal the opportunity to attract even greater player numbers.

Sport Hawke’s Bay has recently appointed a Spaces and Places Lead. The purpose of this role is to support decision makers who are looking at creating and improving facilities – natural and man-made – that people use to be active. We now have a great opportunity to leverage the recent investment and to get more of our community, more active, more often.

Over the coming 12 months, Sport Hawke’s Bay will continue to focus on supporting the play, active recreation and sport sector as we continue to recover from the impact of Covid-19. The uncertainty created by us moving through the Alert Levels creates difficulties for codes in their planning or delivery of sport. Overall though the sporting community has proven very resilient and will be up for the challenge of dealing with whatever eventuates.

We need more young people being active and new facilities will help increase participation. The New Zealand Facilities Framework recognises that if there are more of the sporting facilities that New Zealand needs, then more New Zealanders will be inspired to be active. And that’s an outcome we would all like to see.

We will continue to focus on those less active, such as tamariki and rangatahi in deprived communities, women and girls and those with disabilities.

This combined with supporting the development of new facilities puts us in good stead for a future where our Hawke’s Bay community has a life-long love of play, active recreation, and sport.

Mark Aspden

Sport Hawke’s Bay CEO

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