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Donation kick-starts final push for netball courts

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

A generous donation in the memory of two young Wairarapa women means the drive to rebuild the Colombo Rd netball courts is getting closer to realisation.

Wairarapa resident June Edmonds has donated $10,000 to the rebuilding of the sporting facility, as a tribute to her daughters who both loved playing netball.

Mrs Edmonds’ daughters Janine and Rachael Edmonds died three decades ago.

Janine lost her life in a car accident in 1988 and Rachael died 18 months later from cancer.

“Both girls loved playing netball and I was proud of their achievements,” she said.

“Janine was the head girl at Wairarapa College house and school deputy head girl – both were almost 18 when they died.

“Rachael completed her referee training and also played age group representative netball, and Janine was in the Wairarapa under-21 team and was due to play the day she died.”

Mrs Edmonds said she wanted to support a sport that her two late daughters loved and enjoyed as they were growing up.

She is also encouraging the community to support the rebuild by helping to bridge the funding gap that the campaign is facing.

Last March, Bring it to Colombo unveiled their plans to rebuild the netball facility on Colombo Rd.

Costing $2.5 million, the work includes resurfacing and repositioning 12 courts – six artificial and six asphalt with three courts under cover; a new club room with disability access; an accessible toilet and shower facilities; player shelters for the uncovered courts; a large viewing deck; and medical room with outside ambulance access.

It had been hoped that the rebuild would start after the 2016 netball season but a funding shortfall and the Lotteries Commission declining a funding application means more fundraising is needed before any work can start.

To date, Bring it to Colombo has raised more than $1.3 million but needs to raise another $375,000 before it can reapply to the Lotteries Commission for the final amount that is needed for the project.

Bring it to Colombo Trust chairman Luther Toloa said Mrs Edmonds’ generous and heartfelt private gift will go a long way to helping fundraising efforts.

“Mrs Edmonds’ generosity is another reminder of how important it is to get the facility rebuilt.

“It not only provides an outlet for our young people to play sport, but also to socialise, build life skills and be part of our community.

“We need to get on and get this facility rebuilt – it’s value to the community cannot be measured in dollars and cents and I know our plans for the rebuild will ensure that it serves our community for generations to come, as it has done for past generations and families like the Edmonds.”

The immediate focus was to raise the $375,000 shortfall so they can reapply to the Lotteries Commission, who in declining the application had left the door open to reapply once the shortfall was secured, he said.

This would need to be done by the end of March 2017.

“We want to be starting work at the end of this year’s netball season,” Mr Toloa said.

“We absolutely acknowledge our plans are ambitious, but I also know we can do it and we are now over half way there with raising the money.

“We appreciate all the support we are receiving both from the community, fundraising volunteers, the council, funding grants and local businesses.”

Mr Toloa said a number of community fundraising initiatives are being planned including a Wairarapa wide school mufti day and the paling sponsorship is ongoing.

For details about how you can support the rebuild or if you want to donate go to www.bringittocolombo.com.

 

Breakdown

 

Total project cost is $2.5 million.

Over $1.3 million raised already, but there was a $375,000 shortfall when the first Lotteries Commission application was declined – they need to raise those funds by the end of March to reapply.

Currently working with stakeholders to bridge the gap.

Emphasis is on cutting costs as well as raising money, with the possibility of tradespeople helping with building process.

It is hoped that the Lotteries Commission will cover most, if not all, of the remaining deficit once the $375,000 is raised.

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