Shared spaces could be the answer to Northern Netball's problems

The North Harbour Netball Centre currently hosts most netball competitions in the region. The centre is running at capacity.

The North Harbour Netball Centre currently hosts most netball competitions in the region. The centre is running at capacity.

With court space already scarce on the North Shore, projected population growth has Netball Northern considering the options for social and school competitions.

Findings from a facility-scoping investigation report undertaken for Netball Northern, highlighted Albany, East Coast Bays and Hibiscus Coast as areas that need more courts.

Combined, these three areas currently have a five-court shortfall, which is predicted to increase to nine courts by 2046.

Presenting at the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board meeting on May 17, Netball Northern chief executive Julie Paterson said court capacity in the Netball North Harbour area "is under pressure".

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"We're very aware that for netball to be more accessible in the community we need to have more availability of courts across the community, rather than focusing in one area," Paterson said.

"We believe parents are looking for options closer to home."

The North Harbour region has the second largest player base in the country. More than 9000 players are involved at the peak of the winter season.

To cope with demand, Netball Northern is investigating moving some games away from the North Harbour Netball Centre in Northcote Rd and entering into shared use opportunities with the likes of Albany Junior High School.

"We're looking for more courts that already exist so we can run social and [junior] school leagues locally," Paterson said.

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"Auckland Council have been clear that all sports need to consider shared use options as well as the provision of new facilities."

The facility investigation report, prepared by Global Leisure Group, mentions a Memorandum of Understanding between netball and tennis for use of Albany Tennis Centre.

According to the report, funding was received for line markings and posts for two netball courts. However, no netball has been played at this site.

The land is currently leased to Tennis Northern which is "open to exploring a new approach with netball".

Further afield, the developing Metro Park in Silverdale has the potential for 10 to 12 courts.

"We are continuing to work with the Metro Park working group to ensure netball is included in the planning process," Paterson said.

 

 - Stuff

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