The Dargaville Sportsville facility at Memorial Park is about to become a reality with construction starting last Monday following a sod-turning and blessing at the site last week. The full facility is expected to be operational by early winter next year.
The Kauri Coast Recreational Society has spent the last three years planning and sourcing funding for the project, which has been made possible through grants from Foundation North, New Zealand Lotteries and Pub Charity following initial seed funding from Kaipara District Council and local stakeholders. The total funds amounted to $2.181m. The final cost is estimated to be $2.2 million.
The stakeholder include local football, hockey, netball, petangue, rugby, rugby league and tennis clubs-as they benefit from the new facility.
Griffiths and Associates are the project managers, with the Areo Group, a Whangarei-based construction company, contracted to build the 580-square-metre premises. It will have four changing rooms, public toilets, storage facilities, a canteen/coffee outlet and a tournament control office. A covered muster area is also included to provide shelter.
A petanque court will also be made by volunteers, and the contract for six courts to be shared by tennis and netball is expected to be confirmed this week.
The Kauri Coast Recreational Society, Sport Northland, project managers, stakeholders, Kaipara District Council and local kaumatua attended the sod turning and blessing.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, thanks to the project manager, the board and stakeholders. We’ve also had fantastic support from the Kaipara District Council,” said recreational society chairman Chris Biddles.
“We want Northland to be the go to place to live. Having quality sporting facilities is important to make that happen.” In possibly one of his last public occasions before he leaves office this week, Mayor Greg Gent reflected on the Kaipara Sports Awards and how he was inspired by the youth there, saying that Sportsville will really benefit those talents and help nurture future ones.
“This is fantastic for the community — Dargaville needs it. In my time as mayor I have been shocked at how much volunteer work people do in the Kaipara, to make things like this happen.”
To which Chris responded: “It’s all about the end result. The reward is when you see our young people having quality facilities to use.”