Kaikorai School pupils (from left) Connor Diack (10), George Bates (11) and Sophie Miller (11) are excited by the prospect of being able to play sport on a large, flat and grassy area at the school. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
For decades, the only sizeable patch of grass at Kaikorai
School has been on the side of a hill.
So for decades, pupils have made the best of the situation
and played rugby uphill.
But after the school and parents raised $125,000, by the end
of this year it is hoped pupils will be able to play on a
grassy field as flat as a pancake.
Principal Simon Clarke said contractors were clearing and
levelling a patch of ''scrubby'' land at the back of the
school, which will provide pupils with a 50m x 30m field.
''It's about half a football field in size.
''The school doesn't have a large flat area. It will double
the amount of grass for sports use.
''At the moment, the kids aren't able to kick a football on a
grassy field - they play touch rugby out the front of the
school and it's an uphill game.
''This will create a purposeful area on the flat for all
sports to be played on.''
Mr Clarke said the project was funded entirely by the school
and parents through fundraising efforts and saving.
There had been no need for Ministry of Education funding, he
''A pool of money has been collecting over the past decade,
and two years ago it was decided to use it for a new field.''
Mr Clarke expected pupils would be playing on the new field
by the end of November - ''provided we have a good spring to
let the grass grow''.