Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Peter White: Venues would top off growth

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Photo/file
Photo/file

It was something to behold to be part of nearly 7000 people at the spectacular setting of Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval on Tuesday.

The cricketers played their part with a riveting game. It went to the wire and had the happy ending of the series win for the Black Caps.

Two of the stars were from Tauranga and played cricket together at intermediate school.

Tuesday's match made me proud to be from Tauranga.
Peter White

Kane Williamson captained the team with the coolness under pressure of a far more experienced leader and batted superbly, while Trent Boult took three Sri Lankan wickets to fall. On the grassy banks around the oval, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive about the family-friendly sports experience.

Well done to everyone involved with organising the day and providing a variety of good food outlets, bouncy castles for kids with short attention spans and the lunchtime entertainer.

Thanks to the friendly volunteers for keeping everyone nicely spaced on the banks, parking cars and taking tickets at the gate. It was appreciated.

Read more: One on one with Black Cap Kane Williamson

A 7000-strong crowd turned out to watch the Black Caps take on Sri Lanka at Bay Oval on Tuesday.
A 7000-strong crowd turned out to watch the Black Caps take on Sri Lanka at Bay Oval on Tuesday.

A big crowd is also expected for today's Twenty20 smash between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka from 3pm which should be another memorable sporting occasion.

Tuesday's match made me proud to be from Tauranga.

It is a city touted by economic development agency Priority One as being potentially world-class.

Population and economic growth, housing and education standards, plus top-class sporting and cultural facilities are key.

Tauranga in 2015 reached previously unheard of performance indicator figures in building consents and beat the rest of New Zealand in regional economic growth and population figures.

So, by those definitions, it is world-class, but it still lacks the facilities a city of Tauranga's size should have.

The Civic Amenities Group has rightly highlighted the lack of a top-class international hotel, museum, arts and cultural centre, and a winter sports stadium to be proud of.

Once these are in place, Tauranga can rightly claim to be world class.

Just like the Bay Oval is already.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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