17th December 2012

Appeal Trust grants $436,500 to fix netball courts in Christchurch and Lincoln

When the new netball season opens in April 2013 there will be 12 additional courts to safely play on in Christchurch and Lincoln, repaired to outdoor playing specifications with $436,500 of Christchurch Earthquake Appeal funds.

Repairs start today on the six most earthquake-damaged outdoor courts at the Selwyn Netball Centre in Lincoln, and next year on six courts at Christchurch Netball Centre in Hagley Park.

Netball’s popularity in Canterbury has not waned despite the earthquakes and with this grant the Christchurch and Selwyn Netball Centres can provide their 7,000 players with more competition-level courts to meet demand. These outdoor netball courts are located on public land, unable to be fully fenced and therefore could not be insured.

Jane Huria, Chair of the Advisory Board to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, says “Canterbury has a proud tradition of producing top netball players and the intention of this grant is to support players across all levels of the sport. We are really pleased to see some of this funding going to Lincoln which hosts netball players from as far afield as Akaroa.”

In Lincoln, nine of Selwyn Netball Centre’s 11 courts sustained earthquake damage that has been exacerbated by aftershocks and general use. $76,500 of this Appeal Trust grant will repair six courts while Selwyn District Council will use the opportunity to fix general wear and tear on three additional courts. The Lincoln Tennis Club also uses the courts for summer tennis, and its 31 teams should be able to resume play by the end of January once repairs are complete.

Lyn Miles, Executive Member of Selwyn Netball Centre says “1,680 players from 18 clubs will be delighted to have the surface of their netball courts repaired to standard once more. The earthquakes meant some major cracks with an uneven playing surface were far from ideal playing conditions. With the shift in population to western areas, this will accommodate the numbers that we foresee living in the Selwyn District area in the near future.”

At Christchurch Netball Centre $360,000 of this Appeal Trust grant will fund repairs to six courts, which, due to land damage underneath will be dug up, the land strengthened, then new asphalt laid. On top of this, a superior surface will be laid thanks to $37,500 from Mainland Foundation to upgrade the courts.

Chris Rodda, Board Chair of Christchurch Netball Centre says its more than “6,000 players at all ages and stages will get the benefit of playing on the resurfaced courts from Future Ferns up to senior grades. These players will enjoy playing on the upgraded surface which will be easier on their legs, on courts that will soon be flat and even. The updated alignment of the courts means increased safety for umpires and spectators with a larger run-off space between the courts. We have come a long way since the first six hard courts were laid in Hagley Park in 1945.”

This grant includes $300,000 provided by New Zealand Community Trust and $50,000 donated by the UK Appeal Trust.

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust has to date granted $51.93 million to projects including ICT equipment for primary school children, KiwiSport programmes in the eastern suburbs, support to major social service providers, business recovery, women’s refuges, repairing homes of uninsured vulnerable residents, and the rebuild of the Arts Centre.