Hockey: Two schools happy to be turfed out

Otago Hockey Association hockey and facilities manager Sam Brown with the underlay of the McMillan Centre turf yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Otago Hockey Association hockey and facilities manager Sam Brown with the underlay of the McMillan Centre turf yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.

You've left it too late if you're in the market for about eight tonnes of what is effectively green carpet.

About 20 or so willing bodies spent the weekend prying up the old No 1 turf at the McMillan Hockey Centre and rolling it into neat stacks.

"All going according to plan, Tiger Turf will start laying the new surface at the beginning of December and have it done by Christmas," Otago Hockey Association hockey and facilities manager Sam Brown said.

The cost of resurfacing the No 1 ground is "all up, about $400,000". The Dunedin City Council is contributing $30,000 for facility and maintenance costs each year for the next 10 years.

"That has allowed us to take out a loan to pay for the resurfacing now because it was due," Brown said.

"The No 1 pitch wasn't usable for the top level stuff any more.

"It went down about 14 years ago and they have a life expectancy of up to 10 years, so it did really well. It was well maintained and well looked after and was still playable for the lower grades right up until the end."

The No 2 turf was resurfaced in 2009 and it took three years to get rid of the last of the old turf.

Until "about a month ago" there was still some of it stacked in a corner of the venue.

No such problems this time.

Queen's High School and Tokomairiro High School are the new proud owners of the artificial turf.

Brown described it as a win-win situation. The schools got a quality second-hand artificial playing surface and the OHA got "satellite facilities".

The OHA has capped numbers in the summer leagues to minimise disruption while the No 1 turf is out of service.

"We planned for it, which meant our numbers will be down for the summer and our other turf will be at capacity."