Editorial: More than just sports stadium

By Andrew Austin

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If you have ever been to Pettigrew-Green Arena in Taradale, you will have noticed one thing - it is always busy.

There's either a conference on, or someone playing squash or someone working out in the fitness centre. Upstairs there are people working away in offices. It is a good example of a sporting complex well used.

So often local councils around the world have had glorious ideas to build big complexes which they promise will be well used. What happens? They end up as white elephants.

Not so Pettigrew-Green Arena - it has just gone from strength to strength. Many people express surprise when they realise it has been around for a decade - today is the 10-year anniversary since it officially opened its doors.

Since then it has become, quite simply, part of Hawke's Bay sporting life. A number of sporting codes have their headquarters there as does Sport Hawke's Bay and it is also the home of our Hawks basketball team. When it opened, the arena's then chief executive, Roger Coleman, said he hoped it would be more than just a sports stadium. That has certainly been the case with a number of concerts, events and conferences being held there.

But its primary usage is as a sporting hub. It is well used by students at EIT across the road, but the great thing about it is that you don't have to be a top sportsman or sportswoman to enjoy the facilities. It has it all - a gym, squash courts, aerobics/dance studio, a fitness centre, a sports science lab, consultancy rooms and conference facilities.

It is also going to be the venue for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters to show their skills. They will put on a display on May 31.

So, happy birthday Pettigrew-Green Arena. Let's hope you are around for many more years.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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