Training under car headlights: Ngāti Toa Domain to have major revamp
Help is finally on hand for the biggest home of junior rugby teams in Wellington, which resorts to using car headlights to illuminate trainings.
A major upgrade of sports facilities at Ngāti Toa Domain in Porirua could include installing lighting towers, which would be a big help for the Paremata Plimmerton Rugby Football Club which squeezes in training 30-plus junior rugby teams under limited lighting two nights a week.
While the lighting upgrade is dependent on getting the appropriate council consent, Porirua City Council is in the process of revamping sports field number three to create two full-sized senior winter sports grounds, featuring dual posts for rugby and football, to be completed by December.
Club chairman Dave Ives said last season temporary lights were installed to allow night-time training to help meet demand but at times evening training was held using car headlights to illuminate the fields.
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"We are chomping at the bit for them to do it. This is going to give us a lot more options. We cater for a lot of kids, with 529 playing for our club every Saturday last season."
Lighting towers would ease pressure on the grounds by allowing training sessions to run later at night on full-sized fields.
He hoped they would be up and running by March - in time to light up the new fields for the winter rugby season.
"For us to have two more fields over the number 3 is absolutely fantastic. It will give us another really good quality field. It's going to make a massive difference for us."
The cricket nets and run-ups alongside the field are also being upgraded and a new junior grass wicket, and a senior artificial wicket which can be used in all weathers, are being created.
Porirua City Junior Cricket Club chairman Kevin Findlay said they were looking forward to using the upgraded nets and facilities.
"It's going to be massive for us and cricket in Porirua."
The council's parks operations manager Julian Emeny said there was huge demand from sports clubs for fields to train on in Porirua and this will help ease some of that pressure.
As part of the project, the council was looking at installing lighting towers for evening training on field number 3.
"We still have to go through a consent process but our goal is to have them up for next winter's sports season," Emeny said.
While the field and cricket facilities are closed, junior cricket practices have shifted to Endeavour Park in Whitby and the Saturday games to Kura and Onepoto parks at Titahi Bay.
The field is fenced off while the work is under way.