SHARE
Excited for turf... Northern Southland College principal Mike Newell stands on the asphalt courts where the new multipurpose turf will be installed in October.PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The old asphalt courts at Northern Southland College, in Lumsden, will receive a makeover when a new $170,000 multipurpose turf is installed in October.

Northern Southland College principal Mike Newell said the turf would be 60m long by 35m wide, with different colours for the three netball and four tennis courts, and half-sized hockey turf.

There was a full-sized hockey circle for players to practise their corners and the netball courts could also be used for futsal.

The school had been fortunate to receive about $132,000 worth of grants to turn the idea into reality.

“The Lotteries Commission, Community Trust of Southland [and] Southland District Council have all chipped in and helped us out,” Mr Newell said.

The college’s parent teacher association contributed about $35,000, which had been raised through its Waimumu field days catering fundraiser.

“The reality is without the grant funding and the PTA, this turf would not be happening now; it would be years away,” Mr Newell said.

“We are incredibly grateful and thankful for those organisations.”

The turf had been the college’s previous principal’s initiative, but Mr Newell shifted the turf site to the college’s bigger set-out courts.

“The original site was on the smaller courts and would cost over $300,000 because of the ground work that was needed, and I felt if we were going to make a turf we might as well make it big.”

A shock mat would be placed on the existing asphalt and the turf would be installed on top of it.

Mr Newell said the site provided “better visibility to the community”, as it was closer to the street, the pool and the school gym.

Hockey was strong at the college and Mr Newell said the new turf would enable the pupils to train at the school.

“At the moment they travel to Gore to practise for hockey; this turf allows them to train at the school on a proper ground.”

College hockey captain Tayla Elder (16) was excited her team would have the opportunity to practise on a proper hockey turf.

“We have to travel or practise inside the school gym – the new turf is going to make training so much easier for us.”

Tayla said the team was “stoked” with the possibility of playing half-sized games at the school grounds.

College head of physical education and sport Dale Kington was “absolutely delighted” the turf would add another element to the college.

“It’s very exciting for us to get the turf and help kids further their sporting abilities,” Mr Kington said.

The turf would be installed in late October and would take about three weeks to complete.