Netball courts 'not great'

Stadium car park site eyed for upgrade

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 08:53 11/06/2014
Lynette Rayner
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ
SEEN BETTER DAYS: Marlborough Netball board chairwoman Lynette Rayner says work is needed on the Horton Park netball courts in Blenheim.

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New outdoor netball courts could be on the cards for Blenheim. Marlborough District Council and Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 are in talks with Marlborough Netball about the future of netball facilities in Marlborough. One proposal is to lay new courts in the southern car park of Stadium 2000.

Marlborough Netball got the ball rolling with a submission to the draft annual plan last week in which it outlined the need for maintenance on the Horton Park netball courts.

About 1200 people play netball in Marlborough each Saturday.

Marlborough Netball board chairwoman Lynette Rayner, who presented the submission to the council, said there were three options for the future of Marlborough netball: courts at Lansdowne Park; a complete upgrade of Horton Park; and outdoor netball courts at Stadium 2000.

The state of the asphalt surface at Horton Park was "not so great", with flooding and slumping issues. "The facilities are getting old and tired and the courts need some maintenance . . . do we put a sticky plaster on it or do we sort it out?"

Rayner said maintenance at the Horton Park courts had continued to be deferred. The council was aware of the issues and was "working with Marlborough Netball to address them".

Marlborough District Council assets and services manager Mark Wheeler said outdoor netball courts at the stadium was just one option they were looking into.

"Basically we've been looking at short-term and long-term options for netball. "We've started exploring ways to utilise the Stadium 2000 a bit more.

"We've initiated decisions about upgrading the courts to use the car park or use the indoor facilities more."

The council would not be extending Stadium 2000, but understood the need for a place for netballers to go while they waited for a decision on Horton Park and before they move to Lansdowne Park, Wheeler said. "There are problems with the surface at Horton Park and we are holding off on larger scale maintenance to see where their future lies.

"Resurfacing is an option and utilising the southern car park at the back of the stadium is another option."

The Horton Park netball courts needed a lot of work and "quite a bit of funding". "Some of them are getting a bit rough so we have to bite the bullet."

All parties involved needed to sit down and discuss the options in more detail, he said.

Marlborough Lines Stadium 2000 chief executive Paul Tredinnick said the council had approached the company to look at options.

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"We are looking at other ways we can accommodate netball.

"We are talking about other outside options for temporary use. For example, we've got a lot of flat surfaces in the car park areas."

It would not build more indoor courts but understood the netball association's need for a larger space, he said.

"In terms of using the stadium we are holding children's netball on the netball courts inside to get them out of the cold.

"We are definitely keen to see more netball [games] inside . . . it would be great to be able to do that."

- The Marlborough Express

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