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Old games played on a new turf

Wairarapa College students enjoying the new turf during PE class. PHOTO/FILE

Students at Wairarapa College can now play a range of sports on brand new turf, from four-square to basketball.

The upgrade was funded by the Government’s post-covid school investment package and was ready for its first game in the first term of 2022.

“Embracing just under 5000 square metres, the new area includes five netball/tennis courts and one basketball court at one end, with two practice hoops at the margin,” Wairarapa College principal Matt White said.

Planning to replace the old netball and tennis courts that “had not been fully utilised for a number of years due to health and safety concerns” began in 2020.

The main drivers behind the initiative were improving health and safety and recognising the importance of sport in the school and the community.

“We have a very passionate sporting community and sport is a very large part of Wairarapa College’s culture,” White said.

Lines for a full-size futsal turf and two hockey Ds were drawn into the new turf. A 3-lane 100 metre running track was also part of the new area on one side of the courts and included markings for four-square.

“We have a sports academy that students apply for that delivers a specialist teaching and learning programme focused on sport, sports nutrition, well-being and mental skills,” White said.

“We have had very good success in national tournaments, especially hockey.”

As well as being used by the school, the new multi-purpose sports courts will be a bookable space that the wider community can enjoy.

“Rather than having to travel to facilities outside of school, we will be able to offer more sports at this school, making those sports more affordable and accessible to a wider cross-section of our students.”

“Ultimately, the more students we have involved with sports, the better it is for our school and school pride, along with the health and well-being from physical activity and the social benefits that come from being part of a team and working with others.”

As well as providing another valuable teaching space for health and physical education, the new turf courts would be utilised by other learning areas such as science doing speed testing and mathematics measurement testing.

“The concept for the new courts came internally and was led by the school’s asset manager Mike Geenty. It then went to Frequency, our Wellington-based project managers, and they really helped shape it with input from GameOn Turf, who will also do the turf installation,” White said.

“The civil engineering work has been done by Cameron Fauvel Projects, with Willbert Civil doing the construction work. Both Mac Fauvel and Kyle Williams from Willbert are past students.”

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