Christchurch’s hockey community were excited to officially open their two brand new internationally-certified Artificial Turf Pitches (ATP) at Ngā Puna Wai on Sunday.The grand opening took place on Sunday 09 December with players, supporters and their families joining representatives from Christchurch City Council, Sport Canterbury and Canterbury Hockey to explore Christchurch’s new home of hockey. Onlookers were treated to a playoff by Canterbury RPC squad members and encouraged to grab a stick and try out the internationally-certified water-based pitches.Four-year-old Emilie Bruce had her first taste of hockey at Ngā Puna Wai on Sunday and quickly got into the swing of things as she hit her ball around the bright blue field.
Christchurch City Council Recreation and Sports Service Manager David Bailey says he’s delighted to see years of hard work and planning paying off with smiles on so many faces.“It’s great to see our community coming together to enjoy this world-class venue and to think a new generation of children will be able to pursue their sporting dreams on their home turf.” “We’d like to extend a huge thank you to the Christchurch community, our neighbours, funders and supporters for helping make Ngā Puna Wai happen.”Sport Canterbury Chief Executive Julyan Falloon says having access to world-class facilities will help boost Canterbury’s local sporting prowess and attract international talent to our region.“Not only does this offer better training and development opportunities to our local athletes, it’s fantastic to see international matches like the Black Sticks v Germany already booked into this facility, further raising Canterbury’s sporting profile.”The Ngā Puna Wai sports hub is being developed by a collaborative partnership including Christchurch City Council, Sport Canterbury, Athletics Canterbury, Rugby League, Canterbury Hockey, and Tennis Canterbury and is opening in stages. Hockey is the second sporting code to take up its new home at Ngā Puna Wai, following the official opening of the athletics track and field facilities in October 2018. 12 outdoor acrylic tennis courts with surrounding fencing and two sand-carpet rugby league pitches are on track to open in April 2019.There will also be two multi-use community playing fields, a shared sports hub building with administration facilities, public toilets, changing facilities, a children's play zone, an athletics control building, and covered seating for athletics, hockey and rugby league.