Stars thrill students at new courts
The children of Crawshaw were star-struck by sporting celebrities who came to open a new netball and basketball court in Nawton - just in time for the holidays.
Silver Ferns captain Casey Williams and former Tall Black Adrian "AJ" Tuitama spoke to the students of Crawshaw School, who came by the hundreds to witness the opening ceremony on Friday.
Tuitama, who now mentors youths often involved in gangs, got a lot of laughs and exciting yelling.
His message was, "If you dream hard and dream big, you'll go far".
Williams, a surprise guest, was an instant hit, with the children hanging off her every word.
The court was the last step of the Nawton and Crawshaw Healthy Living Projects, the same initiative that saw free fruit trees being planted at homes and public spaces, headed by Neil Tolan of the Western Community Centre.
"It's really exciting, and everyone is pretty stoked. It's a great resource for the community and I'm pretty sure it'll be envied by the whole city," said Mr Tolan.
Hamilton City Council, TalkingTech Foundation, First Credit Union, Sport New Zealand, Western Community Centre and Waikato District Health Board were involved and helped fund the project, estimated to have cost around $40,000.
Sally Sheedy, parks and open spaces manager at Hamilton City Council, said the council was pleased to help provide this kind of facility.
"This is something that this community has been requesting for years. It's about getting people out, being healthy and enjoying the outdoors, and it was really important that we got it open in time for the school holidays," she said.
Over the next two weeks games and activities will be held on the new court at 1pm each weekday to beat the holiday boredom.