No serious damage to grounds from recent rain

Seagulls on the water at Tahuna Park yesterday after the weekend's heavy rainfall. PHOTO: PETER...
Seagulls on the water at Tahuna Park yesterday after the weekend's heavy rainfall. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
The seagulls may have enjoyed the city's sports grounds over the past few days, but it is hoped it will be the players back out there on Saturday.

Despite 97.8mm of rain falling in Dunedin between Friday and Sunday, Dunedin City Council contracts manager Gareth Jones said the grounds had held up well.

While there was still some water on several grounds, notably the Kensington Oval and Tonga Park, they were draining slowly.

There was no damage that could not easily be repaired, Jones said.

Both senior rugby and football went ahead on Saturday, although junior rugby had been cancelled.

This weekend the grounds would be in higher demand.

Secondary school rugby is set to start up.

That meant more games and more grounds needed to play them on, Jones said.

However, at this stage, there would be no issues with games going ahead.

Having such a heavy rainfall early in the season may cause some flashbacks to last year.

That had seen the grounds in a bad state for most of the winter season due to the rainfall.

It was hard to tell if a similar trend would follow this year, as it was always weather dependent.

However, Jones said the autumn ground maintenance schedules were on target, leaving them in a good place at the moment.

Where they had to, the council would look to ease the pressure on the grounds midweek, aiming to maximise the games that were played.

"Ideally we would prefer any ground closures to be on training nights to protect them so weekend games can all go ahead," Jones said.

"If a lot of grounds are going to be significantly damaged by the weekend we inform the sporting organisations which ones they are.

"They prioritise which competitions are more important for them to go ahead and take our advice on which grounds to use."

While controlling the weather was not an option, it was important clubs co-operated in not using closed grounds on training nights, Jones said.

The council had "good communication channels" with them to ensure that happened and ease the pressure.

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