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Last modified: 04 Apr 2022 5:12pm

a field of astroturf with buckets and pallets placed around the outside at regular intervals

The ground is being laid for growing opportunities for year round sport in Selwyn.

The shock pads and artificial grass turf has begun to be laid for two new artificial pitches at Foster Park. The pitches, which will primarily be used for hockey and football, are nearing completion, ready to open in May for the winter sports season.

The turfs will provide latest generation all weather surfaces that will give more options for sports to be played and grow in Selwyn, Council Acting Major Projects Manager Phil Millar says.

“We are incredibly excited to soon have these two new facilities available to the Selwyn community – both are of a high quality – suitable to host a range of events and Tournaments from junior sport through to international matches, and both are built to stricter environmental requirements.”

Waikirikiri Hockey Club and Selwyn United Football Club will be the primary users of the pitches, along with their regional bodies, which have primary responsibility for planning and administering their winter competitions. The additional hockey pitch will allow Waikirikiri Hockey Club to play at home, offer more teams and run further programmes.

The football turf will help address a shortage of pitch space for Selwyn United FC – one of the South Island’s largest football clubs – providing the equivalent playing and training time of five grass pitches and with markings for all age groups and grades to use.

While hockey and football will mainly use the fields during evenings and Saturdays during the peak winter season, the turfs will be available for hire to general users – providing opportunities to wider sports and community groups. Priority will be given to local schools, sports trusts and other potential clubs and users, Mr Millar says.

“The high quality, hard-wearing nature of the surfaces, provides our whole community with the opportunity to experience the benefits of using an artificial surface. If people adhere to the maintenance and use requirements, these surfaces can be used for a range of less formal games and activities when the weather doesn’t allow for the use of grass surfaces, or where the Selwyn Sports Centre may not meet their needs.”