Turf close to completion

Volunteer Phil Marsh helps lay down the sand needed to resurface the new multi-purpose courts at Fiordland College that are close to completion. PHOTO: Christine Pounsford

A new sports turf that's adaptable for tennis, hockey, and netball is getting close to completion at Fiordland College.

Fiordland College and different sports groups in Te Anau have teamed up to resurface a multi-purpose field for both students and club athletes to enjoy rain or shine.

The project was the joint effort between Fiordland College and Te Anau's own tennis and hockey groups to renovate the college's former asphalt netball and tennis courts.

Te Anau Tennis committee member Murray Willans said it became clear that resurfacing the courts was a cost-effective win-win solution to meet the needs of different sports groups in town. 

For Te Anau's growing tennis population, it meant four more courts in addition to the courts behind the Fiordland Community Events Centre. The point of difference was that these ones could be safely used in wet conditions. The club also got lucky with five new movable nets on wheels being donated free of charge by Tennis Auckland, he said. 

Hockey representative Christine Pounsford said the new turf gave young hockey players in Te Anau the opportunity to practice on the same quality of field they would find in larger cities like Invercargill. 

Grants from Meridian, the Community Trust of Southland, and the Southern Trust, along with funds from the school, helped pay for the new turf.

The college has a memorandum of understanding with the clubs where college students will have access to the courts during school hours. Fiordland College principal Lynlee Smith said after school hours clubs will be able to use the courts through a booking system. 

The new turf is close to completion, but this week's wet weather has caused delays because the sand used in the new turf needs to be dry. 

Ms Smith said the college was very grateful for Mr Willans and his team for putting the work in to upgrade the courts. 

The courts aren't the only renovations happening at the college. School administrators are just moving back into their administrative block after a year-long re-roofing project to fix leakage issues, Ms Smith said. 

The school's library was also getting its interior renovated with a new paint job and carpet. Its roof was being lowered to also deal with leakage issues.

Ms Smith said the college was also looking at replacing its boiler in the long term, and its board was interested in finding an environmentally sustainable option. 

An official opening for the school's new look would take place in May, Ms Smith said.


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