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Rathkeale eyes Sports HQ

A look at what the interior of the proposed Sports HQ at Rathkeale College might look like. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Head into the Rathkeale College gymnasium and you may wonder how the school is enjoying so much success in its sporting endeavours.

The building was erected in 1965, and has clearly seen better days.

There are several issues with the suitability of the building for sports teams to use, most notably a lack of viewing areas for supporters, and changing rooms for players.

But those problems could all be dealt with if a proposed ‘Sports HQ’ project gets the green light.

A feasibility study has been conducted and principal Willy Kersten says the early indications suggest it will be possible to achieve their goal.

The Sports HQ would be a new complex built on the playing fields, while the current gymnasium would be renovated and turned into a student centre with a host of different facilities.

The proposed Sports HQ building would include spectator viewing areas, an indoor netball court, weights room, classrooms, and changing facilities.

It would cater to a range of different sports and recreational activities, and would be available to the entire Wairarapa community, Mr Kersten said.

“We don’t think there’s a facility in the region that is anything like what we would propose.

“The indoor facility would work very well for training purposes, and that’s in addition to making the facility available to local sports people, or recreational groups.”

The complex would open up “huge opportunities” for the school and the region, while also allowing visitors to have all their needs catered for.

“We’ve had groups come before who have been desperate to stay on-site, but they still have to go off-site to access a gym,” Mr Kersten said.

“What we have here at the moment just isn’t cutting the mustard.”

Hosting events at the complex, or having visitors utilising its facilities, would also provide benefits for businesses in the region.

Players would often have their families staying in town while they competed at tournaments at the school, Mr Kersten said.

Rathkeale’s development manager, Grant Harper, said the school had looked at gymnasiums that ranged from $1.5m, through to $6.5m.

They would be looking at something which was “mid-range”, he said.

“Our current gym was built in 1965 and it’s very, very basic.

“It’s inadequate and not big enough for anything significant.”

The school are hopeful the Masterton District Council will see the benefits of such a facility and get behind the project, along with other sectors of the community.

“We haven’t gone out to the community yet, but we have done the feasibility study to see whether it’s possible or not.

“It’s still only proposed at this stage.”


  1. No benefit to Masterton at all if the complex built at Rathkeale – just the opposite. School struggling to stay afloat, would look to hire accommodation to complex users- half their dorm space is always empty, & dinning room under-utilised. Ask the school how much debt it carries. They are desperate to add value and would do it through the sports stadium.
    Too far from town, a car is required to access Rathkeale from Masterton, tough for kids and out of towners arriving on the train. Thought Masterton would have learned lesson from the performing arts hall which belongs to all, but sited at the school.

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