The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre was officially opened yesterday afternoon, signalling the completion of Christchurch’s Hagley Oval Cricket Precinct.
Canterbury Cricket Trust Chair, Lee Robinson, Sir Richard Hadlee and Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel were at the ceremony along with Stephen and Heather Boock, whose original purchase of the former Horticultural Centre launched the project.
Sir Richard said he was honoured that the world-class facility bears his name.
“It’s a true honour and a wonderful legacy that will benefit thousands. This centre will accommodate the next generation of cricketers,” he said.
“Future Black Caps and White Ferns will walk through these doors as they start out on their cricketing journey. This is where lifelong connections will be formed and dreams will begin.”
The facility features 3.6-metre cricket lanes with 20-metre run-ups, a 300 square metre mezzanine floor with gender-neutral changing rooms and a balcony facing the Hagley Oval.
Ms Robinson says the centre is about securing Canterbury’s cricketing future.
“It will give cricketers of all ages and skill levels world-class facilities to train in. But it’s more than that. The centre is versatile, and we can’t wait to see other sporting codes and community groups utilise this space,” he said.
Mayor, Lianne Dalziel said the centre will be a wonderful asset for the Christchurch community.
“Until now, our lack of an indoor facility has made it difficult for families having to travel to Lincoln for their young players to train and our teams to train to the best of their ability which puts pressure on the facilities in Lincoln and Rangiora,” the Mayor said.
“The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre is the first facility of its kind in Christchurch built since the earthquakes and we are delighted to now have more facilities under construction in the city that will complement the centre.
“To those who have championed this project, thank you for your tireless work to develop a precinct that will benefit this community for today, tomorrow and future generations.”
Donations for the $4.65m facility have come from the New Zealand cricket community and major donors include The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust, Sir Stephen Tindall, Glenn and Lynne Ritchie and Mark Stewart.