South Waikato District Council and the Tokoroa Host Lions were proud to officially open the new Tokoroa basketball court in time for summer this week, with the court becoming a welcome addition to the Tokoroa skate park.
At near the same time, a donation for new park furniture was given to Waipā District Council by the Cambridge Lions Club.
In Tokoroa, South Waikato mayor Jenny Shattock said the opening of the basketball courts was crucial to a thriving sense of community.
"Spaces like this basketball court, or skate parks and playgrounds are important to the cohesive sense of community. They provide fun for everyone, break out time for our tamariki and have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing," said Shattock.
"Special acknowledgement to the Tokoroa Host Lions who have worked many volunteer hours on this project. The Lions are involved in an amazing number of community projects, and because they don't shout about it, we often don't have an appreciation for the countless hours they invest in community projects."
Council's plans for all of the reserves, parks and sports grounds in the South Waikato for the next 10 years included the new basketball court which the community suggested initially.
"Between council's own projects team and the Lions we are pleased to deliver this project. Council encourages community engagement and feedback and looks forward to delivering many more exciting projects.
"It is our duty to ensure this court remains safe from vandals or any other negative behaviour and more importantly, I hope it brings endless hours of fun, friendly competition for everyone who visits," said Shattock.
In the Waipā region, the $24,000 donation made by the Cambridge Lions club will help fund a joint project between the two organisations to install two new picnic tables, three bench seats, three rubbish bins and a shade cover at the Cambridge skate park as well as a seat on the Camelia Track at Lake Te Koo Utu.
Council's parks and reserves operations team leader Matt Johnston said the donation would be put to good use.
"We are very grateful for the Cambridge Lions Club's generous donation and know the new park furniture will be able to be enjoyed for many years to come," Johnston said.
"The addition of a shade sail to the park will also bring some much-needed cover from the sun over the hot summer months."
Director of projects at the Cambridge Lions Club and a frequent visitor to the skate park with his grandchildren, Warren Beard, recognised the opportunity to create a more enjoyable experience at the facility.
"Many of our club members are grandparents who often take their grandchildren to this facility, and we thought some new furniture would really enhance this space," he said.
"Shelter and seating will benefit the children, parents and grandparents using the amazing facility."
The Cambridge skatepark was last upgraded in 2015, and together with the recent addition of the Velosolutions Pump Track, a 196m long pump track and 222m jump track, has become a popular area for children and families to enjoy.
In addition to the shade sail over one of the picnic tables, bench seats will be located underneath trees to help provide additional sun cover, particularly important in the summer months.
The new park furniture will be put in place next year by council's parks operations team.