Turf's up again for Coastal Spirit
An artificial football pitch that brought the beautiful game into the heart of Christchurch has found a new home in the earthquake-hit eastern suburbs.
The Hereford St turf was unveiled last October by the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation and Nike Football.
After four months, the pitch has been moved to make way for demolitions.
It will now be used by the Coastal Spirit club in the eastern suburbs, which was chosen from a range of quake- hit football clubs.
Coastal Spirit chairman Wayne McTague said the club's Bexley Reserve home was "trashed" by the quakes, forcing it to relocate to Cuthberts Green.
Although one floodlit pitch at the reserve could still be used, the lack of functioning clubrooms and toilets made training difficult.
"Sometimes during training the players will just disappear into the trees for a bit," he said.
The artificial pitch would be a "great attraction" in Cuthberts Green.
"It'll just be great, particularly for kids to come down and kick a ball around, and it's good to see something back in the eastern suburbs."
Rebuild Christchurch founder Deon Swiggs said the pitch was meant to be in the city centre for only two months, but its stay had been extended because of its popularity.
The pitch had received "amazingly positive" feedback from residents, with many bemoaning its absence from the city centre.
Swiggs said he wanted to set up other facilities in the central city for longer periods, and would discuss it with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority officials.
"It would be great to have some more spaces where families can come in, sit down, have a picnic and a bit of fun, and kick a ball around."