Sporting codes’ projects make ground

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TWO of Surrey Park Sports Centre’s tenants’ ambitious projects are making ground.

Community Trust South (CTS) has approved $250,000 towards Southland Softball Association’s (SSA) base redevelopment and $209,000 towards Athletics Southland’s track renewal and back straight improvements.

For SSA, the CTS funding was the final major hurdle before work could begin on building its new clubrooms.

Facilities development committee chairman Noel Eade said they were elated to have the funding approved to replace their clubrooms which were no longer fit for purpose.

Eade also thanked the Invercargill Licensing Trust, ILT Foundation and Lotteries Commission for their support. “If they hadn’t come to the party and bent over backwards, we wouldn’t have got there.”

They now had the $1.8 million needed for the development.

The new clubrooms would be on the north side of the Surrey Park athletics track and contain changing rooms, umpires’ rooms, a meeting room, administration, bar and kitchen facilities and storage rooms.

Eade said construction would start once building consent was approved.

CTS chairwoman Margot Hishon said the trust was very pleased to be able to support SSA’s redevelopment project.

“This project will create a new home for softball in Southland, offering development and participation opportunities for over 1000 people on a weekly basis. It will also provide the wider community with a modern multi-use facility,” she said.

CTS’ funding was Athletics Southland’s first step in its bid to raise $900,000 needed to replace its ageing athletics track.

In addition to replacing the track, the group also planned to extend the back straight, install a javelin run, and replace the pole line around the inside of the track to meet current standards.

Athletics Southland had raised 10% of the funds needed for the project, and was now looking to community funders for assistance to help raise the balance.

Athletics Southland chairman Chris Knight said they were pleased to receive the funding from CTS.

“It’s the first step.”

The group was now in the process of applying to other community funders, he said.

If they secured the necessary funding, work on the track would begin in August and be completed by December, he said.

Ms Hishon said the trust recognised the importance of maintaining a quality all-weather athletics track in Southland.

“The resurfacing of Surrey Park Athletics Track will enable Athletics Southland to continue to host quality events that have positive economic impacts, such as the Colgate Games, and continue to provide a safe track for local athletes, schools and the wider community to use.”

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