Work has begun on the second and final stage of the $1.3 million redevelopment of Westbrook Netball Courts.

Phase one was completed in late February and saw a special sporting surface called Rebound Ace added to eight of the courts. Umpire lines and spectator areas were also added.

The surface was laid by a group from the Czech Republic.

Resurfacing of the remaining eight courts, as well as installation of new goal posts and floodlights on eight courts will now begin, adding to the "top quality" facilities.

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Rebound Ace is a cushioned hard court made up of polyurethane rubber, fibreglass and other materials, and laid on top of the concrete.

Barbora Strakova, who worked on the first phase of the redevelopment, said the work took about one month but was dependant on weather.

"It is the special method and material that we use."

She said the material was soft on athletes' legs, knees and ankles.

Work on the courts started in March 2017 with an estimated cost of $1.5m. This has since been reduced to about $1.3m.

Secretary Mary Thompson in front of the newly resurfaced netball courts. Photo / Supplied
Secretary Mary Thompson in front of the newly resurfaced netball courts. Photo / Supplied

Netball Rotorua secretary Mary Thompson said she expected phase two of the courts to be completed at the end of March in time for the start of the 2019 season.

"We had to be really fair last year and make sure everybody got a turn playing on [the resurfaced courts], because they wanted to play on those rather than the asphalt courts.

"Now they will all have that opportunity."

However, Thompson said it had been hard to keep the courts up to scratch and protect them from being ruined by the public.

"We are still having problems with the public abusing them, especially young lads riding bicycles over them, doing wheelies and leaving big black marks."

Riding bicycles, vehicles, scooters and skateboards as well as wearing high-heeled shoes and the points of umbrellas could all ruin the surface and Thompson hoped the public would respect the new surface.

She said there were security cameras and plenty of signage asking people to keep off the surface.

"Over the summer it has been difficult because we are not there as often, but over the winter months we are there through the week so we can keep a sharper eye out on them."

Work begins on the second stage of the Westbrook Netball courts. Photo / Stephen Parker
Work begins on the second stage of the Westbrook Netball courts. Photo / Stephen Parker

Thompson said Netball Rotorua was hoping for more external funding as they still had about $40,000 of the project's cost to be covered.

"The New Zealand Community Trust generously gave $200,000 towards it and that was a huge bonus getting that from them."

She said One Foundation and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust had also contributed to costs.

NZ Community Trust (NZCT) communications manager Tanya Piejus said the project appealed to NZCT because it aligned with the organisation's passion for encouraging more people to participate in sport.

"This project appealed to us for its long-term benefits and opportunities for a lot of people to get involved in netball, especially women and girls who are underrepresented in physical activity statistics."

Rotorua Lakes Council contributed $570,000 for the completed civil works to extend the footprint of the facility and upgrade drainage.

The remaining costs were covered by grants from trusts and organisations and fundraising by Netball Rotorua.

The development was a result of a submission to the 2012-2022 Long-term Plan.

Sport and Recreation Portfolio lead, councillor Charles Sturt, said upgrading the netball facilities would be a great improvement for a large sector of the sporting community.

"We have a strong netball community and they deserve a professional facility.

"This council is working hard to make sure that Rotorua has access to facilities that match the sports and recreation talent and enthusiasm of our local community so it's great to see the upgrades coming to fruition."