Clubs set up joint trust for sports village

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

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An architect’s drawing of what the shared facility could look like. PHOTO/CARLING ARCHITECTS
An architect’s drawing of what the shared facility could look like. PHOTO/CARLING ARCHITECTS

A new sports village is being planned for Smallbone Park which could see Rotorua Hockey, Rotorua Cricket and Springfield Golf Club all move into a joint, state-of-the-art facility.

The three sports clubs and organisations currently operate out of separate buildings within a close area, off Devon St.

Plans have been thrown around for a couple of years to build a shared club house, and representatives from each club have now set up a project group to move the development forward.

Sport Bay of Plenty community sport team leader David Mortimore, speaking on behalf of the project group, said they were in the process of making a joint trust.

"Up until now it has been a little bit conceptual and now it is about moving it forward and making it more of a reality," Mr Mortimore said. "The three sports organisations are all involved and are all working hard to operate their sports, working out of three different buildings at the same location.

"And, I guess, this offers an opportunity to share resources, reduce costs and to share membership ... and is probably more sustainable."

According to architectural drawings, the state-of-the-art facility will include a two-storey building with a reception, golf shop, large social areas and lounges, plus an indoor batting area. Two smaller buildings for changing rooms are also included in the plans.

The facility would be erected between the cricket ground and hockey turfs at Smallbone Park.

Mr Mortimore said costs were not yet known for the new facility, nor had any start dates been set for construction.

He said their focus at this stage was simply setting up a shared trust so they could move on from there with gaining funding.

"The three sports groups are in the process of creating a trust - a legal entity to take the process forward," he said.

Rotorua Lakes Council owns the grounds at Smallbone Park and have allocated $300,000 to $350,000 towards building public toilets in the area, in its long-term plan.

Councillor Charles Sturt, who heads the council's sport and recreation portfolio, said the toilets could be built in conjunction with this project and he liked the idea of a joint facility.

Springfield Golf Club president Brent Frew said the club had approved the idea in principle and would be willing to move its clubrooms down the road if the project went ahead.

"We quite like the idea, but we would definitely have to change the course a bit."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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