An increase in the popularity of hockey throughout the region could result in a revamp for the Eastern Southland Hockey facilities in the form of a $475,000 pavilion.
The proposed two-storey pavilion would include a viewing gallery and kitchen on the top level, and toilets included on the ground level at the Gore Multisport Complex.
The ground floor could be developed later to include changing rooms.
The present pavilion, which includes changing rooms, would be moved off to the side and still be available for use.
Eastern Southland Hockey president Janette Collins said the board applied to the Community Trust of Southland for a $200,000 grant to build the new facilities.
The trust had chosen the application to advance to a full application for its 2018-2019 major grant process.
The board required confirmed major funders in order to go ahead with the pavilion.
“We cannot move forward with this project if we don’t receive this funding,” Collins said.
If the application was successful, the board would apply to other potential funders.
Eastern Southland Hockey would put forward $50,000 towards the project.
“Potentially we may have to look at putting more money forward if we recognise it is needed later on.”
After a tender process, Ajax Building Contractors, in Gore, had been chosen to construct the pavilion – subject to funding.
More than 500 players were involved with Eastern Southland Hockey and Collins said it had outgrown its present facilities.
Collins said the biggest growth occurred within junior hockey, the 5 to 12-year-old age group.
“We’ve got lots of parents and grandparents coming out to support their children and we want to provide an all-weather turf and facility which works for everyone,” Collins said.
A new viewing gallery would benefit the development of hockey in the region.
“On Friday nights the side of the turf is absolutely packed, along with the pavilion, so people actually cannot see the game half the time. We want to accommodate for everybody,” Collins said.
“A new viewing gallery would allow more spectator room.”
A new pavilion would be a great asset to players, she said.
“We want people to be able to stay after their games and support other teams – to be able to offer that social side of sport as well, getting together off the turf as well.”
The pavilion would also be used for meetings and group functions, and would be available for other sports and organisations to use for meetings.
Mataura Hockey Club president Trudie South was looking forward to modernising the facilities at the turf.
“From our club’s perspective, we’re looking forward to having a bigger and larger space to have functions and spend time together off the turf, which we’ve struggled with in the past,” South said.
“Especially with our weather down here, it’ll be a great place for everybody to watch hockey and spend time together – it’s very cool.”
Collins, board member Vince Aynsley and treasurer Bridget Stevenson had been working on plans for the pavilion since the start of the year.
“In about March we started having an open discussion and applying to different funders,” Collins said.
The trio was passionate about the project and getting it off the ground.
The present pavilion would be used as an office and would be perfect for referees to use away from the turf.
“It will still be used and be great for tournaments held here to offer additional space,” Collins said.
The board expected to hear whether its application was successful early next year.