Karaka Sports Park has been awarded $150,000 to support the development of three netball courts and four tennis courts with dual markings.
The grant comes from Franklin Local Board’s Sport and Active Recreation Facilities Plan, which identifies priority sports facility projects in the area.
Board chair Angela Fulljames says the plan identifies 56 projects that are independently assessed and categorised by priority.
“We have just $150,000 from our Locally Driven Initiatives operational budget to implement the findings of the plan by way of grants, but with 40 projects deemed eligible, 35 of them community-led and five using a mixed model, it was deemed that six could use the funding over the next year or so.
“That is always going to mean good projects miss out but in this instance we have decided the Karaka Sports Park Trust is best placed to progress its project for more netball and tennis courts.”
Karaka Sports Park is the 17.5-hectare home to a number of codes including rugby, cricket, baseball, tennis, netball, and bowls.
Board deputy chair Alan Cole says existing infrastructure is varied in quality, which is preventing codes from growing, limiting community participation.
“There has been a lot of planning around the development of Karaka Sports Park, with a business case supporting major council funding, including for field and lighting upgrades, clubroom redevelopment, and a series of infrastructure developments.
“But COVID-19 and the current financial climate has put funding in doubt, and we are left with a courts project that is considered part of the first stage of development.”
The tennis club has about -50 members from juniors through to seniors, with the courts also available for to the public. The netball club has 28 teams with about 300 players through the grades, higher participation rates than are seen nationally.
“The assessment showed there are no public outdoor courts in nearby growth areas such as Paerata or Drury, and a strong need for youth-related recreation facilities,” he says.
“A central hub offering multiple sport and recreation opportunities supports people to lead a healthy active lifestyle and removes barriers to participation.”
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