A $1 million grant from Trust Waikato will see LED floodlighting facilities installed at five large parks across Hamilton – helping to tackle an 81-hour-per-week shortfall in current field capacity.
Mayor Paula Southgate said the current lack of lighting means people and clubs can’t use the fields on winter weeknights, reducing participation.
The installation of high-quality floodlighting will be a “game changer” for city sport and will help transform lives, she said.
“It’s brilliant news, really wonderful. Local sport is invaluable – it helps our communities build connections and shape healthy, active lifestyles. It helps keep us fit and healthy and brings us together,” said Mayor Southgate.
“Thanks to the Trust Waikato funding, far more people in our city will be able to participate in their chosen sport because the floodlighting will make more of our sports fields usable at night. Just as importantly, the improved lighting will help people to feel safer, removing another barrier especially for women and girls,” she said.
The upgrades will create a network of high-quality sports parks for the community and visiting teams to use and enjoy, the Mayor said.
“It’s fantastic timing to kickstart this as we prepare for massive sporting events including the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. With world-class field facilities, we can keep attracting sports events that boost the local economy and create a vibrant, exciting city.”
“But it’s the impact on grass-roots sport that I personally think is most exciting. We’re incredibly grateful for Trust Waikato’s support. It shows the brilliant things we can do for our community when we join forces,” she said.
The floodlighting will be installed at sports fields across Gower Park, Korikori Park, Galloway Park, Porritt Stadium, and Ashurst Park.
Community Committee Chair, Councillor Mark Bunting was also thrilled to hear the news.
“I am stoked to see this project gathering steam. Soon we’ll see more and more children, teenagers and adults playing on our fields all year round. A huge thank you to Trust Waikato for helping us to shape a fun and thriving city.”
Trust Waikato Chief Executive, Dennis Turton said the organisation was pleased to support Council’s floodlighting improvements.
“This project will enable thousands of people to train and play safely whilst combatting the limitations in capacity,” Mr Turton said.
Council has now secured 70% of the required $4.6 million funding to deliver the entire floodlighting project. Trust Waikato’s funding enables Council to progress the first two phases of this mammoth project, scheduled to kick off next year.