by Shelley Inon
With work due to begin soon to develop Geraldine Domain, excitement is growing among local sport lovers.
Along with pathways, signage, lighting and better parking, artificial turf will be laid on the existing courts which will allow for sport training in wet weather.
Youth delegate for Geraldine Hockey, Karen Leigh-O’Kane, said it would be a relief for hockey players.
“It will really help to make hockey a lot more accessible, as it is quite an expensive sport anyway.
“Parents have had to make long trips to Timaru for practice and games, as we’ve been limited on what we can teach with hockey skills here.
“Some have been practising on a small court at the high school, so their training will be at a better level with the turf to practise on.
“This will have better lighting and a new pathway.
“We are hoping that we will be able to do summer stuff as well . . . and hold ‘have a go at hockey’ days.
“Hockey is one of the sports that will greatly benefit.”
Geraldine Football Club secretary Paula Irvine said that while the club was not gaining anything directly, it was not losing anything either.
“We wouldn’t have agreed to it if we were going to lose land, as we’d already lost some ground to the croquet gaining a few lights, which will help on those shorter winter days.
“We hope that in wet weather we will be able to play on the turf would be subject to availability.”
Before the land was developed into football fields, it was used for grazing horses, with bulrushes and flaxes everywhere, she said.
Geraldine resident Bridget McNamee said her son Anthony would be really pleased when the turf was able to be used for training in Geraldine.
“It means he will be able to get to both each week by simply walking across from one pitch to another rather than always being late for football when coming back from out-of-town turfs.
“Nor will he have to do alternate weeks, which neither he or his coaches really like. It will save on petrol, too.”