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Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub: It couldn't come sooner

Delphine Herbert
nga puna wai
Nag Puna Wai South View  Christchurch City Council

The construction of Nga Puna Wai Sports Hub has been delayed once again. So what does this mean for our Canterbury Athletes?

The construction of Nga Puna Wai Sports hub has come across more hurdles as finishing dates are pushed back due to bad weather. A further 2 million dollars is needed to finish the project.

Christchurch’s QEII athletics track was damaged in the 2011 quakes leaving athletes without a track for six years.

Papanui TOC H club running coach Graeme Christey says running on grass tracks such as Rawhiti isn't good for training.

“You want to run flat stick on a smooth surface where you really can get that top speed going.”  

“None of the grass tracks are perfectly flat and with the wet weather the tracks have been very soft so athletes don't get that raw speed that you need when you're training up for big races.”  

He says some athletics coaches find their athletes who are training on grass tend to get sore hamstrings when they’re trying to work at their top speed because the grass tracks aren't as responsive.

“We can’t offer those top quality track meetings.” says Christey

Our athletes have to travel which comes at an extra cost, meaning athletes can’t go as frequently as they want to, to get the training they need.

Christey says his athletes will be overjoyed when to track opens as they looking forward to easy access to a facility, rather than the 2 ½ hour drive to Timaru.

The Hub will contain athletic tracks, hockey fields, 12 outdoor tennis courts, six indoor tennis courts and an indoor track on 32 hectares on Nga Puna Wai near Wigram.

Nga Puna Wai is seen as the new site to replace QEII.

Christchurch City Council Sports and recreation manager David Bailey, says Nga Puna wai is unique as people will still be able to use it as a recreational base.

“People who walk their dogs or go for runs who like to be away from urban environments can still use Nga Puna Wai for recreational activities.”

 He says Nga Puna Wai will become the regional home for hockey, athletics, tennis and rugby league as well as community sports.

 Bailey says the sports have been central to the whole planning and decision making.

“It’s not something that the council is doing to sports, but very much something that sports have identified and the community have identified as a strong lead.”

 “They are involved with the design, they are involved with the decisions and they are involved with the timing and that’s quite unique.”