New pool on top of list for Kaikoura sports recovery; multi sports-hub next

The Lions Pool in Kaikoura was badly damaged in the earthquake and is likely to be written off.

The Lions Pool in Kaikoura was badly damaged in the earthquake and is likely to be written off.

The Kaikoura Sport & Recreation Earthquake Recovery leadership team has been working on a plan for the recovery of the sports sector.

A new pool is top of the list, as well as getting vital infrastructure back said the community in a January residents' survey.

Sport New Zealand has announced it will fund a feasibility study on a new pool complex for Kaikoura.

Sport and recreation advisor Kim Boyce Campbell said the Lions Pool on the Esplanade is likely to be pulled down. Insurers are yet to complete their assessment but it is not considered feasible to repair it.

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Helping the community get back on the field

Facilities expert Richard Lindsay of Visitor Solutions will be in Kaikoura this week for initial community consultation and site inspections.

Lindsay has a background at Sport New Zealand, and his wealth of knowledge across not-for-profit, local and central government, recreation and sport sectors and experience in leading the Canterbury sports sector rebuild makes him a perfect choice. 

As a North Canterbury resident and chair of the Amberley Swimming club, he understands small town dynamics well and said he's excited to be able to assist the Kaikoura community in the planning for a new pool. 

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Kaikoura to get a facility that will serve as the central hub for aquatic-based activities, so we need to take the time to plan this properly and get it right."

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Sport New Zealand CEO Peter Miskimmin said he would do everything he could to help Kaikoura move forward and keep sport running at last months' community forum.

Sport recovery sector convenor Mark Fissenden was happy to get the feasibility study under way so quickly, and without any cost to the community:

"It's very pleasing that Sport New Zealand are behind us – we need this pool and it's exciting to see the community getting behind the project.

"That unity is crucial for us to move ahead."

The pool feasibility study is due for completion in September, and a multi sports-hub feasibility study will kick off in July. 

There will be a Kaikoura Sport & Recreation Earthquake Recovery leadership team update at the Memorial Hall on Wednesday May 24 and is open for the public to attend.


 - The Marlborough Express


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