New Indoor Sports Centre

Governor Opens New Indoor Sports

Centre for Kapiti Coast

By Alan Tristram
February 20……2010
Ake Taiaki leads the Maori welcome by Kia Aio te Noho for the Governor-General and official guests

Several hundred people, including five MP’s, gathered at Kapiti College in Raumati to see the Governor-General open a $2.5 million gym and sports centre.

The new gym and indoor sports complex – the only one of its kind between Porirua and Levin – will be available to the community as well as the College.

The opening ceremony included a stunning haka by the College students and a Karanga and Powhiri by Kia Aio te Noho, representing the College and Maori community.

The Governor-General, Sir Anand Satyanand, paid tribute to the college’s history since 1954 and the College’s enterprise in providing a facility for the wider community.

Sport ‘challenge’ for young people

The Governor-General,the Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand, cuts the ribbon to open the Kapiti College Sport and Recreation Centre

He said sport was challenging for young people in ways that ‘maths and English are not’ – and he paid tribute to the distinguished sports-people the College has produced, including two All Blacks (Christian Cullen and Mark Shaw).

The chair of the College Board, John Howson, said the new building was far more than a college gym – it was a significant community asset, which could be used for almost any indoor sport event, from indoor basketball and volley ball to badminton.

He spoke of the struggle to raise finance, with $1million raised by the Board and school efforts. But the community focus of the building meant it also qualified  for $700,000 from the Lotteries Commission.

Principal Tony Kane  spoke of the ‘gamble’ in embarking on such an ambitious venture before all the money was in the bank.

Money still needed

Some finance was till need, he said, and invited the public to sponsor a $250 seat in the 240-seat public gallery.

The College Board hadn’t accepted the lowest tender for the job, he said, because it wanted the contract to go to a local firm so that local jobs were provided.

A new Sport and Recreation Centre committee will run the complex; and it includes KCDC Councillor Peter Ellis as well as board members.

The committee welcomes bookings from groups and individuals for either the stadium or the function rooms.

The stadium will be available from Monday to Thursday after 7pm and at weekends and school holidays.

The new gym was first proposed before the College 50th reunion in 2004, but didn’t gain real impetus until a couple of years ago.

At that stage, the Board rethought the original aim of just building a college gym and decided instead to plan a community sports centre.

The Board knew this would meet a wider community need, as there isn’t another general gym with seating in the Kapiti area.

And so, after the opening ceremony, sports teams christened the gymnasium with basketball and netball games.

And bands from Kapiti and Paraparaumu Colleges, as well as the Volunteers (made up of ex-Kapiti College students) provided the first live session music for the centre.

In all, a fitting debut for a new community asset.

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