Hockey: Centre gets ready to lay out the blue carpet

The $1.26 million upgrade of the two hockey turfs at the Tauranga Hockey Centre at Blake Park is nearing completion on time and on budget.

Tauranga Hockey Association general manager Clyde du Toit says the project has gone well and the long hot summer has helped greatly.

"We are getting really close to finishing the Beach Turf, which is our old water turf. We are in the final process of putting down the blue carpet and that should be down by the end of this weekend," said du Toit.

"So we can start playing on it from next week with trials and club musters for pre-season training.

"There has been huge progress on the new Port Turf, which was the old sand turf. The tarsealing was finished on Saturday afternoon and they are busy with the final gradient checks of the seams in the asphalt. Then it needs roughly two weeks of curing before we are ready for the rubber shock pad to be laid and then the final blue carpet will go in after that.

"The key irrigation has been installed and will be tested shortly, and they are well on the way to completing all the fencing. The last thing to be done is the pavement around the turfs and that will be done in the next two weeks."

The New Beginnings Hockey Festival will be staged on April 6 to celebrate the opening of what will be a world-class hockey facility.

But an even bigger event will be held on April 20-21 when the final round of the Black Sticks Women's Quad Series hits Blake Park. The Black Sticks, USA, Argentina and Korea will be in action over what will be a memorable weekend for Western Bay hockey fans.

Du Toit is excited about these world class teams coming to Mount Maunganui.

"What a fantastic way to open our facilities with such a prodigious tournament. We might have three local girls too [Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton and Rose Keddell] in the Black Sticks.

"They were in Argentina recently and played very well, so there is a good chance they will be back at home, playing on their new home turf."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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