Centre gets ready for action

By Sonya Bateson

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Pongakawa's new TECT Action Centre is set to open in less than a month.

The 1100-square metre building will be opened by Pongakawa School principal Craig Haggo, board of trustees chairwoman Joanne Black, and Dame Susan Devoy on August 9 in a special ceremony open to the public.

Dame Susan will hit the first squash ball in the centre during the ceremony and, after a blessing, students from the school kapa haka group will perform.

Maketu ward councillor Kevin Marsh said the action centre would be an excellent facility for the community.

"It will be really good because it involves everyone in the community. There's a lot of money gone into it."

Mr Marsh said he had looked through the facility and it was impressive.

The building houses international-sized netball, basketball, badminton and volleyball courts, as well as a squash court.

Mr Haggo said the opening of the centre was a fulfilment of a dream. "For us to be opening an indoor facility of this size in just four weeks is the fulfilment of a dream and an amazing thing for our school and the community.

"We have been so lucky, every step has gone smoothly, doors have opened, funding has come when needed, and permissions and consents gained with relative ease. Pongakawa has been truly blessed."

Mr Haggo said the centre would be used for more than sport. "Businesses we talk to see the central location, ease of parking, and sheer size of the facility as a drawcard to host meetings for their customers such as large groups of farmers and orchard growers. Some businesses have also indicated that they imagine hosting regional team meetings and team-building exercises at TECT Pongakawa."

Board of trustees member Brigid Crawford said the opening would begin at 1pm, and encouraged the public to come along.

"Different representatives from the community will take part in the first of each code - the first badminton shot, the first basketballer, the first cartwheel ... Then the following week there is a whole festival of sport, a different code on each day with the children taking part in school time, the community from 4pm, and a display after that."

A programme of the events, all of which are open to the public, can be viewed on the Pongakawa School website www.pongakawaschool.school.nz.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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