Celebrating the opening of the Colombo Road Netball Wairarapa complex on Friday were, from left, Trust House chief executive Allan Pollard, Trust House director Mena Antonio, Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson, Bring it to Colombo Trust chairman Luther Toloa, Deputy Mayor Graham McClymont, and Trust House director Lucy Griffiths. PHOTO/SAM TATTERSFIELD

Multi-sport, multi-event facility upgrade needed

SAM TATTERSFIELD
sam.tattersfield@age.co.nz

Its final completion was held up for nine months to wait for a long enough spell of fine weather to resurface the courts, but the Colombo Road Netball Wairarapa complex is match-ready again, and already hosting functions.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson will officially open the new complex on March 8, but on Friday it hosted the launch of Women Who Make The Calls, a teen mum mentoring and women’s advocacy group.

It was the first event under the new roof and on the new surface, a fact celebrated by Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson when she introduced guest speaker, Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne.

“You can see how multipurpose it is from today,” she said.

While it will mainly be a sports complex, the versatile, modern clubrooms and roofed netball courts allow for a range of community events.The Bring it to Colombo Trust, the body created to fund the revamp, was chaired by Luther Toloa, who said: “This will always be the home of Netball Wairarapa, no doubt about it, but, with netball’s support, this will be a multi-sport, multi-event facility.”

The revamp cost $2.8 million, paid for by “every sector of the community”, including businesses, Lotteries, Trust House, and councils, mostly the Masterton District Council.

The courts are marked out for netball, basketball, and tennis, but Patterson said the “desperately needed” upgrade was for the whole community.

Toloa agreed, saying that because funds were from such diverse sources, the complex was “owned by the community”.

The weather wasn’t sunny enough to resurface six of the courts with hi-tech plexipave surfacing until December last year, the last piece in the revamping puzzle.

Damage from vandals happened regularly during the construction work, which began in 2017, prompting calls for the community as a whole to take ownership of the centre.

Wairarapa Times-Age is a ‘key stakeholder’ contributing to the Bring it to Colombo Trust.