New centre a boost for sports clubs and groups
It has been an exciting time for clubs and individuals associated with the development and opening of The Ricoh Centre, Fraser Park Sportsville’s new facility on Taita Drive, Avalon, Lower Hutt.
Purpose built to supply sports clubs in the region with a base from which to operate, The Ricoh Centre, nestled on a 27 hectare park was off cially handed over to Fraser Park Sportsville on 11 March.
In addition the centre boasts numerous rooms and spaces suitable for corporate and sporting events.
Fraser Park Sportsville is a partnership led by Hutt City Council, supported by Sport Wellington, Sport New Zealand, the New Zealand Community Trust and Pelorus Trust.
General Manager, Trudy Englebretsen, says Sportville’s purpose is to help individual club’s focus on their sport and to remove the administrative burden that comes with managing facilities.
When Business Central spoke with Trudy the Ricoh centre had been open one month.
“We’re still very much settling into the facility. It’s a learning curve for everyone but an exciting time. We are learning how to share the spaces and we encourage sports clubs, community groups, individuals and businesses to look at the facilities and support we can offer.”
For Trudy, who has been involved in Sports Administration for 23 years, working , to build the facility which in turn provides the opportunity for clubs to promote themselves and focus on sport is a cause close to her heart.
“I think its going to really come into its own as a wonderful community resource and we very much seek other groups to look at using our facilities. It’s all about community participation in sports and physical activity and business engagement.”
The two-storey building houses several specialised spaces.
Six squash courts, an indoor turf space, administration offices, two meeting spaces, twelve changing rooms, referee and first-aid facilities, a café and Sports House are located on the ground floor while on the first level The 400sqm Kadima Lounge with bar facilities, a kitchen and 85sqm corporate box and engine room and mezzanine complete the offering.
“We have an on-licence upstairs which means anyone can come in and enjoy bar refreshments while viewing sporting activity below. At the moment our caterers are settling in and offering light meals, a full restaurant will be launched in the future.”
Planning for the facility began in 2010 when all the clubs then using the park were consulted as to future plans and provided with an opportunity to input.
Hutt City Council then committed substantial funds for the project, designed by Team Architects.
“Council supplied funding to meet two-thirds the cost of the completed project with the balance raised through capital funders and sponsors via the Community Facilities Trust,” Trudy explains.
She says that the centre’s design and facilities has really future-proofed sports administration for stakeholders.
The Ricoh Centre has sufficient space to be used for a number of purposes.
“We have a Kindergarten Association conference coming up. It’s an ideal location for events like this given the administration resources on hand and various spaces that are available.”
The artificial turf space is already operating at capacity from 4–10pm week-days and fully booked in the weekends.
The Ricoh Centre is home to the Wellington Regional Hockey Stadium Trust, Hutt Valley Softball Assn, Avalon Rugby, Naenae Hockey Club, Taita Cricket and Lower Hutt City AFC, Hutt City Squash and Dodgers Softball Club.
Trudy and her team based at Fraser Park Sportsville are happy to discuss the support their facilities can offer sporting and community groups and business.
“The best thing to do is to come in and have a look at the vast facilities we have.
“It’s encouraging to see our existing sports clubs begin to really make use of the spaces and resources we have and to see the interest generated by corporates that are looking for something a little different.”
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