With the season under way, the netball community has finally been able to enjoy the new courts at Hamilton's home of netball – Minogue Park in Forest Lake.
All 21 courts have been resurfaced with a rubberised sports surface. The upgrade brings the facility up to Netball NZ's standards and is a first for the region.
The first Saturday of the season, June 27, saw many delighted faces as players took to the new courts. Comments such as "the courts are great to play on and the change rooms – what a huge difference" and "loving the new courts, no more slipping and sliding" were among the positive feedback.
The work began in January and was due to be completed in late March. Delays due to Covid-19 saw the project put on hold and it was uncertain whether all courts would be finished this year. However, with work able to start again in May, the project was completed.
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Hamilton City Council parks and recreation manager, Maria Barrie, says: "Following such unprecedented times, it is a huge achievement by all those involved to see this work through and to have it completed in time for the start of the season.
"This highly anticipated project has produced an excellent result for our community due to a partnership approach between the council, the Hamilton City Netball Centre and Trust Waikato. It is fantastic to see the netball community now able to enjoy these high-quality facilities, particularly after two years of planning and discussions," she says.
To supplement the improvements to the courts, work was also done to improve the netball centre building, including refurbishment of the toilets, changing rooms and storage.
Hamilton City Netball Centre manager, Clare Frankhouser, is excited for the season ahead.
"We have been through a whirlwind of a year, but our centre has stayed strong and we have come back with a bang.
"New courts, new toilets and new meeting spaces. Best of all, is seeing all the smiling faces enjoying being back playing the game we love.
"This would not have been possible without huge support from Trust Waikato and Hamilton City Council," she says.