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Colombo courts go hi-tech

Workers from the Czech Republic oversee the application of the rubber shock pad layer over the tarmac using special green glue. PHOTOS/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

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The arrival of warm weather has allowed workers to begin putting the final touches on the Colombo Rd netball complex.

On Monday work began on adding the first of six shock absorbent layers, the non-slip surface designed to provide bounce, helping to lessen the impacts on players joints and prevent knee and ankle injuries.

Project manager David Borman said the additional $100,000 investment in the unique surface was worth it, but meant the Colombo Trust was still looking for some funding.

“We were advised by the national netball body that this would stop knee and ankle injuries.

“If we spend the extra money, it will improve safety.”

He said the unique court cover would be a first for the region, with Kapiti the nearest place where Wairarapa players could access such facilities previously.

A team of specialists from as far away as Czechoslovakia helped oversee the application of the mat adhesive and rubber shock pad, ensuring each mat lined up and that there were no imperfections.

They will spend the rest of the month covering the remaining 5113 cubic metres of court surfaces with a sealant, filler coat, cushioned top surface and finally netball court markings.

Borman said the crew had been working well and were enjoying their time so far.

“Work’s been going great. [The team] left minus five-degree temperatures at home so I think they’ve been enjoying their time here.”

He had hoped the work would be completed before the courts opened last season, but said things were on track to be finished in early February, well before netball season begins again.

Colombo Trust facility manager
Celia Newton.

Colombo Trust facility manager Celia Newton, who has played in the region for over 30 years, said it would be incredible to have such a surface in the region and that it would present many opportunities.

“It means we are going to have an international grade facility in Wairarapa.

“It’ll be a lot easier on the body, on the joints and will hopefully mean less injuries.”

The courts’ unique rubber surface means it is also suited to a range of other sporting activities including, basketball, tennis and futsal.

The facility would also enable Netball Wairarapa to host bigger games and tournaments.

Netball Wairarapa centre manager Sandy Biel was already looking forward to holding the Under-15 and Under-17 North Island National tournaments over Queen’s Birthday weekend later in June.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “It’s great to see the floors going down.”

Anyone interested in contributing towards the netball complex can get in touch via the website bringittocolombo.com

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