Community, Sports · 1 Jun 2021

Fundraiser Underway for New Hockey Turf

Aimee Wilson

Aimee Wilson

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Plans for a major redevelopment of the hockey complex at Turnbull Thomson Park in Invercargill are underway with three stages to be implemented during the next three off-seasons. 

The estimated $2 million project will deliver two new playing surfaces, improved water and light facilities and an upgraded pavilion.

ILT Hockey Turf Charitable Trust spokesperson Rob Michelle said the redevelopment’s timing couldn’t be better to help stimulate hockey in the community.

“The current surfaces are at the end of their predicted life-span, yet we have junior hockey numbers in Invercargill increasing each year. We need to ensure the love of the game continues and to do everything we can to keep new players involved long-term,” he said.

Phase one of the three-phase project includes replacing the surface of Turf 1, upgrading to a LED pitch lighting system and installing a new watering system. This phase is planned for action in summer 2021-22.

The current water-based hockey turfs onsite were built new in 2009 with the surfaces featuring the same technology as that used at the Beijing Olympics. 

“[The surfaces] were world-class then and have had a lot of great hockey played on them, but they also come with a life expectancy of around 10 years. They have started to fray and we’ve had to make some temporary repairs to see them through another season before we have the funding needed for the upgrade,” 

At $400,000 per turf to resurface, the ILT Hockey Turf Charitable Trust said plans are already in place to help protect the new surfaces for as long as possible. 

The upgraded web-based, LED lighting system would significantly reduce electricity costs as well as light spill to neighbouring properties. The new ultraviolet, contamination-free watering system will improve the health and safety of turf users.  

Phase two of the plan involves the resurfacing of Turf 2, which would take place in 2022/2023. 

Then the following summer, Phase 3 would be implemented with a pavilion upgrade. The latest proposed concept sees a new face on the existing clubrooms, plus and extension with enhanced viewing space and would include cafeteria services with function capabilities. The estimated cost of Phase 3 is $1 million.

“Currently there is a lack of warm sheltered viewing.  The pavilion upgrade is needed to help grow support for hockey in Invercargill, it will also help increase player social involvement, widen its multipurpose community use and extend revenue opportunities,” Rob said. 

There is a lot of work to do before the plan becomes a reality but is hopefully that, with the support of the community, hockey in Invercargill can “continue to thrive”.  

The first fundraiser for the project is a 12-month raffle called the ‘Strike 12 Raffle’. Ticketing details for the raffle, as well as updates on the upgrade project can be found on the Invercargill Hockey Association Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/invercargillhockey