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Last modified: 17 May 2022 6:30pm

aerial image of a football game under lights in the dark on the artificial turfs

An exhibition of youth and community sport helped open Selwyn’s newest sports facilities.

The football and hockey matches the opening of the artificial turfs at Foster Park on Friday night, ready for the winter sports season. The full-sized hockey turf is the first in Selwyn, allowing the sport to grow and club games for all age grades to be held in Selwyn.

Canterbury sporting icon and New Zealand Cricket Vice President Lesley Murdoch led the opening ceremony before competition football matches between the Selwyn United Colts teams and Christchurch United and an exhibition hockey match between Waikirikiri Division 2 side and a mixed Canterbury invitational team.

Selwyn has high rates of sports participation and the turfs are the next step in the Council’s development of facilities to support sports and recreation over recent years. These range from new community and recreation centres, parks, walking trails, pump tracks and skate areas up to the award-winning Selwyn Sports Centre, Mayor Sam Broughton says.

These developments are part of what has made Selwyn one of the most desirable places for Kiwis to live, Mayor Broughton says.
“These new turfs provide further opportunities to not only host national tournaments and events, but to enjoy sport at all levels and ages, with options all year round. Our investment in projects like this is part of our commitment to supporting the well-being of our people. It’s a way to improve mental and physical health and social connection through high-quality facilities and services that support people to be active in a number of ways.”

Waikirikiri Hockey Club and Selwyn United Football Club will be the primary users of the turfs, along with the respective regional bodies and the turfs will also be available for hire to general users. The $4.3 million turfs project was approved by the Council after receiving submissions during consultation on last year’s Long-Term Plan. The turfs are funded from development contributions and
the Reserves Rate.

The turfs were installed by Polytan New Zealand – world leaders in turf technology with experience in building turfs from community facilities through to the hockey surfaces for the last four out of five Olympic games.