Bay Netball to strengthen infrastructure

Organisation to carry out study on facilities across the region





Hawke’s Bay Netball Board is pushing to “strengthen the network of netball facilities” across the region. The organisation will undertake a study to address facilities across the region, one which supports the current network of facilities, and meets the future demand for the sport. It currently operates out of four locations, including Hastings, Napier, Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa. The demand for access to netball courts has a direct relationship with participation numbers. The main challenge is looking into the future to ensure physical infrastructure enables the sport to remain accessible and affordable. Hawke’s Bay is one of the largest netball centres in New Zealand, with over 8000 active members in club, school and social competitions throughout the region. Board chair Heidi Oliver said “as the largest participation sport in Hawke’s Bay, it’s vital we identify and understand the pressures our facility network will encounter”. “We need to have clarity on the effects of those pressures and what needs to be included in our planning processes to manage them,” Oliver said. The board acknowledges the significant current investment into the region in terms of sporting facilities. “We are grateful for this, and we can see the bigger picture in terms of the benefits to the region. “It’s important the board has a plan to keep abreast of participation numbers and the needs of the netball community.” Taking a strengthened approach towards planning for sports facilities is something Sport Hawke’s Bay is focusing on. General manager Ryan Hambleton said “regional sports organisations that have clear rationale and evidence to support their needs, is something we encourage”. The Hawke’s Bay Netball facility study is being funded via a grant from the Lotteries Commission and the Board will appoint a project team to work alongside planning consultants Visitor Solutions. Engagement with the Hawke’s Bay netball community will get under way next month, and the study will be completed by the end of the year.