Thriving, healthy cities with a high-quality lifestyle provide great opportunities for people to play, exercise and participate in sport.
With sports such as Soccer, Futsal, Lacosse and Basketball on the rise and a growing Hamilton population we need to ensure there are enough good sports facilities to meet the needs. This includes swim space. Also, there is a rise in casual recreation, where communities gather together to play.
I have been talking with field sports about their needs. They tell me they need more quality playing fields to meet the needs of Hamilton’s many clubs and communities. They also need more floodlights to enable sports practice into the evenings, to make better use of current fields.
Some are happy with good quality, well drained natural surfaces, some would like all- weather turfs (preferably covered).
Sport Waikato have done a comprehensive plan for this. It provides a robust basis for future decision making, giving direction on what facility needs are a priority for the region and our city. Read more about this here.
Hamilton City Council working with Sport Waikato and others has also created a nationally recognised Play Strategy which looks at our “play” and recreation needs and opportunities through to 2039. See that here.
Hamilton City Council cannot do everything, we simply do not have the funding.
We need to:
- Maximise the use of existing facilities
- Look for sound financial partnerships to develop new facilities
- Work across boundaries with our neighbours
- Continue to maintain, renew and upgrade current facilities
- Work smarter to do the small things that make the most difference
This can only happen though partnering with education facilities, private recreation businesses and neighbouring councils.
We don’t need any more plans, we have great ones. We do need to work smartly with the resources we have. We do need to work with you, the sports clubs and Sport Waikato to make progress.
I have been proud to be a trustee of The Peak Recreation Centre in Rototuna; a great example of partnership in action with the Ministry of Education.