New lights at the Edgecumbe Domain means it's no longer a mad dash for parents to get their kids to practice in the remaining light of the day.

Coaches also no longer have to worry about juggling work and sports commitments thanks to new field lights that have made being active in Edgecumbe that much easier.

Edgecumbe Sports Club President Parekura Hale couldn't be happier with the upgraded lights, and undergrounded connection and control system.

"Our new lighting has great benefits, not just for rugby, but for the other sports and community groups who use our grounds, including soccer, touch and cross-fit. The lights greatly increase our training ability across all codes," he said.


The project was funded with a $56,700 grant from the Eastern Bay Energy Trust and came about after an outdoor users forum run by Sport Bay of Plenty in conjunction with Whakatane District Council two years ago.

Sport BoP Community Sport Team Leader David Mortimore said field lighting was identified as a high priority by a number of clubs throughout the district.

"Sports clubs are the hub of the community and this project is a very valuable community project " said Mr Mortimore.

"With what came out of the forum, we pretty much took the bull by the horns and, along with a few of the local clubs, approached Eastern Bay Energy Trust, which led to a collaboration between EBET, Sport BoP and Council around this aspect of community infrastructure."

Eastern Bay Energy Trust Chairman Don Lewell said the Edgecumbe Sports Club, and Marist Club in Whakatane, which has just been granted $50,000 for sport field lighting, were great examples of projects that fit the requirements of the Trust's Community Development Fund, which this year has a total budget of $400,000.

"They're both high-use and multi-purpose facilities with means to make a contribution to the project costs."

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"The lighting installed is the latest in LED technology, so the ongoing running costs for the club and the reduction in overall energy consumption is another win," said Mr Lewell.

Eastern Bay Energy Trust also supported the 2015 upgrading of the Whakatane Town Soccer Clubs training lights with a $68,735.85 grant.