The netball courts at Windmill Road have been renewed and opened.
"The new courts look fantastic," says Albert-Eden Local Board Chair Peter Haynes.
"It’s great to see them given a new lease of life. They will be enjoyed for many years by local people playing tennis in the summer, and no doubt by huge numbers of netballers in the winter."
Windmill Courts were the venue for the 1975 Netball World Championships. From 1932 until 2006, Auckland Netball was based at Windmill Road before it shifted out to Ngahue Reserve in St Johns. The Windmill Courts were then largely ignored. But in recent years the sport’s popularity has surged, with more people developing a passion for it.
Sheryl, Lady Wells. President, Auckland Netball Centre, played at the Windmill Courts in the 1950s. She says, “I remember walking with many others to the rather dreary grey courts filled with players wearing a uniform of black woollen gymfrocks, shirt, tie and long black stockings. These wonderful newly surfaced courts are a riot of vibrant, energising colour. Add to that colourful uniforms and you have a recipe for happy, healthy active youngsters.”
Albert-Eden Local Board acknowledges the care and attention of the stakeholders responsible for restoring this community asset – Auckland Council’s Community Facilities Project Delivery team, contractors Fulton Hogan and Auckland Netball.
Fun facts about netball
Netball is a winter sport played from Easter until the August school holidays. The courts are used for tennis over the summer.
Until 1959, netball was known as basketball and was played by 9 players. In 1959, it officially became netball and teams changed to 7 players.
The old uniform was rather staid: heavy black woollen gym frocks, shirts and ties, black stocking and boots.
Girls who played the sport were required to kneel on the ground to have the length of the frocks measured and they were not allowed to be shorter than 8 inches from the ground. Very different to today with plenty of choice in sports gear.