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New pavilion ... Eastern Southland Hockey president Janette Collins and MLT board member Bryan Burgess look at the plans for the new hockey pavilion which will start construction at the end of the year. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Eastern Southland Hockey has been given the green light to upgrade its facilities after receiving $460,000 worth of funding towards a new pavilion.

The organisation’s board received four grants towards a two-storey pavilion to replace the present pavilion the sport has outgrown.

The grants were of $200,000, from The Trusts Community Foundation (TTCF) on behalf of the MLT; $150,000 from Community Trust South; $100,000 from Lottery Community Facilities; and $10,000 from the Southland District Council.

In addition, Eastern has put $100,000 towards the project.

President Janette Collins was over the moon to receive the funding.

“We’re absolutely rapt.

“We definitely would not be able to do this upgrade without the funding,” Mrs Collins said.

The pavilion was budgeted at about $600,000 in total and the committee would be applying for minor funding in the coming months, she said.

The ground floor of the new pavilion would include two changing rooms, two blocks of toilets, showers, a storage room and seating at the front.

The upstairs would include a kitchenette area and toilets while the rest of the room would be open.

“It will be a great viewing room for the sport.

“It’ll be open for everyone and we’ll be able to bring tables and chairs in to it,” Mrs Collins said.

Original plans for the pavilion showed it would be left open on the ground floor.

“Lotteries and TTCF encouraged us to complete the whole project because it’s more cost-effective.”

Ajax Building Contractors would complete the build which would begin at the end of the year.

“We need to be aware that we are bringing a crane in here to lift up this current pavilion to move it.”

The present pavilion would be moved to the side and will be used as an office, storage and to display the club’s history.

“It will be used as the office for all the tournaments which take place here,” Mrs Collins said.

More than 600 players were associated with Eastern Southland Hockey.

“Friday nights there are just people everywhere at the turf.

“There are lots of kids coming along and then there’s the seniors and the division one men and women as well,” she said.

Mataura Licensing Trust board president Horace McAuley was happy TTCF was able to assist with upgrade.

“When they came to us with an application to do work on the pavilion we recommended for the TTCF and they have agreed to assist which the MLT board is delighted with.

“Clearly TTCF see it [Eastern Southland Hockey] as a very, very, very well-run organisation,” Mr McAuley said.

The MLT provided $260,000 worth of funding for the new turf in 2009.

It was logical the organisation was called upon again to help since the sport was expanding, he said.

“Without a doubt it is the fastest-growing sport in Eastern.”

Board member Bryan Burgess said it was great to see children in the area enjoying hockey.

“We’re happy to be a part of it.

“It’s great to see kids out here keeping busy and enjoying their sport,” Burgess said.

It was hoped the new pavilion would be completed by April next year for the start of the hockey season.

The venue would be available for other organisations to rent for social events, Mrs Collins said.