Northland will see its first purpose-built futsal flooring laid at Whangārei's Excellere College in the next month.
The project, headed by the Northland Futsal Academy, will be unveiled on June 23 to be used for after-school and holiday futsal programmes to promote the game in Northland and further the development of the region's football depth.
The idea to lay the cushioned, polyvinyl chloride sports flooring originated from the academy's difficulty in finding and booking appropriate venues to hold its futsal programmes.
"We weren't able to offer a consistent and regular service so we were always having to chop and change times and venues," academy director Christian Reynolds said.
The academy, which runs programmes for children aged between 8 and 16 years, has not been able to run its usual schedule of three programmes a week for the past two weeks due to the sheer demand of indoor sports facilities.
Also a part-time teacher at Excellere College, Reynolds said the project was in motion after a discussion with a school staff member in November last year. She had suggested using the college's facility but due to its concrete floor, Reynolds knew he needed an alternative solution.
"It happened so quickly, we gave a proposal to the school where we would pay for the supply and installation in exchange for the use of the gym for three afternoons a week for the next five years."
Facing a potential $100,000 cost for the entire project, Reynolds looked to China where he was able to ship 21 rolls, weighing 190kg each, of premium futsal flooring from the same organisation that provided flooring for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
With the overall cost of the project now under $50,000, Reynolds said it was a huge relief to be in the final stages.
"It's been the realisation of a vision and dream. There's been a huge amount of work but fortunately there's been an ease with how it's been done."
Since the academy started almost three years ago, Reynolds said interest in futsal had spiked from 65 children per week to 135 children per week. He hoped the addition of this new flooring would aid the academy's mission to progress Northland's football and futsal prowess.
"Our vision is around making skilful, innovative and creative footballers.
"I hope we can provide more long-term, higher quality programmes and increase opportunities for the growth of futsal in Northland."
The floor will be open to the public on Sunday, June 23 where an exhibition game will be held along with activities for children. For more information, visit the Northland Futsal Academy Facebook page.