It was a significant end to the Southland Softball season with the opening of new $1.8 million clubrooms at Surrey Park on Friday night.
The Southland Softball Association hosted life members and funders of the project at its opening, which was followed by a big finals day for players.
Project manager Noel Eade said it was great everyone got to try out the new facility, as well as hosting the prize giving in the clubrooms, before the season came to an end for winter.
“Everyone got to come and have a look. It’s their new home.”
One of the oldest sports clubs in the province, the association was established in 1944 and has up to 1000 players involved nowadays.
Participation in the sport has grown at such a rate over the past five years that it was time to move on – from one end of the park to the other.
Noel said there had been so much disconnection between the clubrooms and the fields and now everything was centralised in one area.
As well as providing a home for the 8-9 softball clubs involved in the association, the multi-purpose building would also be used by the Queens Park Football Club in winter.
The main funders of the $1.8 million redevelopment have been the Invercargill Licensing Trust, ILT Foundation, Community Trust South and Lotteries Commission.
One of the biggest jobs for the association was moving all of the memorabilia from the old clubrooms in Tay St into the new building.
The new facilities have been established to give everyone involved – whether they were playing, catering, watching or in administration, a view over all of the diamond playing areas.
Several working bees were held in recent months to finish the project, with many businesses donating materials and labour to help out.