Franklin sports facilities under pressure

Publish Date : 07 Mar 2024
Python League
Sport is playing an increasing role in Franklin leisure activities with clubs growing, and that's putting a strain on available facilities. Pukekohe Pythons Rugby League Club is adding more teams but has no dedicated home.

Bowls, tennis, rugby, cycling, league, cricket and indoor sports scored wins at Franklin Local Board’s recent monthly meeting.

The board adopted an updated priorities list as part of its 2023/24 Franklin Sport and Active Recreation Facilities Plan to include renewal of the artificial bowling green at Maraetai Bowling Club, court development at the nearby tennis club, and development of the stadium precinct for Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union.

It also allocated $50,000 to Pohutukawa Coast Bike Club to winterproof tracks, develop new ones and to build a skills park and eco-toilet; and $100,000 to Patumahoe Tennis Club to support the renewal of five courts and their floodlights.

Board chair Angela Fulljames says the sport and recreation plan givers strategic guidance around providing local sporting facilities, identifying existing and future needs.

“Franklin has a comprehensive network of parks, open spaces, water access and sport facilities but we can always do more.

“The number of sporting groups reaching out to us shows no sign of slowing. Our size and widely distributed population means the location and types of facilities offered will need to adapt over time, so it’s important we have a plan that prioritises spending to get the most out of it.”

The bowling club has a single artificial green turf, has increased its membership, and is also offering social bowls.

Maraetai Tennis Club has turned its 91 members a few years ago into 300 today and wants to build more courts.

Counties rugby has recognised an opportunity to broaden operations across its stadium and welcome more users, something that could be good news for the Pukekohe Pythons Rugby League Club, which appeared because it needs a home.

The Pohutukawa Coast Bike Club, based in the Maraetai and Whitford forests, caters for a range of riders on a mix of trails, and expects membership to continue to grow.

Patumahoe Tennis Club converted its concrete courts to artificial turf in 1999 and they have not been renewed since.

Adding indoor sports and cricket to the mix were Bill McEntee and Roger Wark from Indoor Centre Incorporated. They say their group continues to work to provide a site at Karaka, and expects it to bring users from a wide area, and to be able to stand alone financially.

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