Wanganui Girls' College has the go-ahead for an all-weather turf area for soccer, hockey, netball, tennis and other sports on its existing netball courts on the corner of Jones St and Anzac Pde.

Principal Tania King said funding had been approved to start the project and the college plans to open up the area to the community.

"It will be well-utilised because it is the only turf area on this side of the river.

"We hope to see the work finished in February next year."


The project is aligned with the 125th Wanganui Girls' College anniversary next year and should be finished in time for the celebrations.

Former students meeting over coffee at the school yesterday were treated to a show of uniforms from past decades, modelled by current students.

Jennifer Evans got to model a blue cape as worn by the hostel students of the 1950s which proved useful when being photographed in the rain .

The gathering of past and current students represented almost 70 years of Wanganui Girls' College education.

Lorna King (nee Scales) is co-president of the Palmerston North Branch of the WGC Old Girls' Association and said she attended the school from 1947 until 1950.

"I was a boarder at the school and we used to march over from the old building to play tennis and netball on these courts," she said.

Current sports co-ordinator Rochelle Howard, who was a student at the college in the 1980s, said the range of sporting options for today's students vastly outnumbered the ones available to students of past decades.

"They are probably too numerous to mention, really, but the soccer and rippa rugby options are probably the biggest differences.

"Tennis, netball and hockey are still popular though."

Megan Wallbutton said things at the school were very different from when she attended from 1955 until 1958.

"It doesn't feel like the same school but it is a wonderful school - it's just different."

Paerau Taylor (nee Thompson), who attended from 1954 until 1956, said she wasn't a sporty girl and didn't enjoy it as her friends did.

"I spent a lot of my time dodging sports activities if I could get away with it, but after I left school I discovered dancing and I still enjoy that."

Sue Gebert (nee Bucknell) attended from 1961 until 1965 and has good memories of playing hockey and tennis.

Downer Ltd is donating time and equipment to the turf-conversion project and funding has been provided by the NZ Community Trust and Powerco.