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Set to boost sporting excellence and participation in the district, the $4.3 million football and hockey turfs will be used to host competition matches and major tournaments while being available for hire by schools and general users.
Canterbury sporting icon and New Zealand Cricket vice president Lesley Murdoch was the MC for the event, which was followed by competition matches between the Selwyn United Colts under 14 and under 15 teams and Christchurch United, and an exhibition match between Waikirikiri division 2 mixed side and a Canterbury invitational team.
Selwyn United Football Club and Waikirikiri Hockey Club will be the primary users of the pitches, along with the sports’ regional bodies.
The football club is one of the largest clubs in the South Island, with around 1200 members.
Mayor Sam Broughton said the turfs, which opened on Friday, were the most recent projects to be completed in a range of top recreational facilities in the district, including nearby award-winning Selwyn Sports Centre.
“These new turfs provide further opportunities to not only host national tournaments and events, but also to help people enjoy sport at all levels and ages and with options all year round,” Broughton said.
“Our investment in projects like this is part of our commitment to supporting the health and well-being of our people.
"It’s a way to improve mental and physical health and social connection, through high-quality facilities and services that support people to be active in a number of ways.”
They were installed by World Cup tournament and Olympic games supplier Polytan New Zealand.
In March, the Selwyn Times reported ratepayers were picking up part of the tab for a $97,750 budget blowout on the project.
The extra money was required due to a number of issues, including with ground permeability and fire egress design, which would take the cost to $4,289,858.