Club rapt about council plans for hockey pitch

Young members of the Wakatipu Hockey Club are thrilled they are getting a Queenstown pitch. PHOTO...
Young members of the Wakatipu Hockey Club are thrilled they are getting a Queenstown pitch. PHOTO: MATTHEW MCKEW
A new dawn for local hockey is on the way, with plans outlined for an artificial pitch at the Queenstown Events Centre.

Players in Wakatipu at present travel to Cromwell to play matches and make do with two tennis courts by the Remarkables Primary School for training.

However, the Queenstown Lakes District Council has made public basic plans for a new multisports pitch at the events centre.

The primary goal is offering hockey.

Wakatipu Hockey Club president Karyn Battrick said the pitch had been a long time coming.

It made a submission to the council several years ago, detailing the diffulty for parents to take their children to Cromwell for games.

Hockey facilities across Central Otago were limited — Cromwell had the only full-sized quality turf, and Wanaka had a two-thirds-sized pitch.

Mrs Battrick said the Queenstown one was unlikely to be of a good enough standard for top-level high school and adult hockey, but it was sorely needed for primary school, lower-level high school and social adult leagues.

The club had wanted a water-based turf, but because it would be used for other sports to help recoup the costs, it had to compromise.

She said the club understood the trade-off.

"It’s a Catch-22 between covering costs and meeting multiple sports needs."

The club has about 130 members, aged 5 and up, but Mrs Battrick thought that would increase once the facility was open — hopefully in mid-2021.

Football will be the other big user of the pitch until the council builds a second artificial turf with longer grass.

Queenstown Rovers senior men’s coach Jamie Whitmarsh had been vocal about cancelled training sessions because of flooded fields.

However, council spokesman Jack Barlow said the second pitch remained "aspirational" for now.

 

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