Centre of excellence project well received by DCC

Mike Coggan
Mike Coggan
The Otago Cricket Association’s proposal to build a centre of cricket excellence at Logan Park was well received by the Dunedin City Council during its annual plan meetings this week, chief executive Mike Coggan said.

Otago Cricket has joined forces with Otago Polytechnic in an ambitious project to develop a $1.1million facility.

The goal is to build a large "greenhouse" which would house 12 to 14 grass pitches.

The all-weather facility would serve the dual purpose of a training facility and a centre for education.

The first hurdle is to secure land for the development and there is a plot nearby which is presently used as tennis courts.

Tennis Otago no longer needs the land and it is hoped the council will allow it to be used for the development.

"The submission was well received," Coggan said.

"They asked a number of questions of both Mike [Waddell] and myself from an education and cricket point of view.

"We are not seeking a cent, just simply seeking support."

Coggan was unsure when the council would make a decision.

"But I don’t think it is as simple as saying, ‘here, the land is yours’. I think there has to be a lot more work go into it than that. But there is no rush, to be honest."

Otago Polytechnic director of external relations Mike Waddell said the tertiary institution saw real value in the project.

"This is about combining the all-weather pitches with an actual academic programme," Waddell said.

"We’d base the academic learning around the skills you actually need. That could be about team management, strength and conditioning, nutrition and all the different aspects that actually go into it."

Confirmation of land access and use would provide certainty for the project, which had been in development for the past 12 months, Coggan said at the hearing

When completed the project would provide enough spare land to increase the size of the undersized Harbour Tce junior cricket field.

The facility would be unique within New Zealand and Otago Cricket will be responsible for raising the funds to build the facility.

 — Additional reporting Hamish McLean


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