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Thursday June 9, 2016

SPORT

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Funding for sports hub By Nikki Papatsoumas

Work on transforming Kilbirnie’s Poneke Football Club into a state of the art community and sports hub is one step closer to being realised. Last week, Wellington City Councillors voted to set aside $750,000 towards stage two developments of the Toitu Poneke Community and Sports Hub, as part of council’s Annual Plan 2016/17. Stage one works on the Toitu Poneke Community and Sports Hub were completed last year. The project, which began in 2014, would see the existing club rooms, gym and indoor training room redeveloped into a modern facility, which would be used by sports

clubs and community groups across Wellington. The overall project was expected to cost $2.2 million. Project manager of the Toitu Poneke Community and Sports Hub, Ross Jamieson, said they were “thrilled” with the council’s continued support. “It is very encouraging for us,” Ross said. He said they were now working to raise the remaining $1.8 million needed to fund the project. Ross said they would hopefully begin work on stage two of the project in September and all things going to plan, the hub would be completed by April 2017. “Everything is ticking away quite nicely now. We have

had many hours of extra community use at the centre since stage one developments. It has already proved itself to be a great community asset.” Chair of the council’s community, sport and recreation committee, councillor Paul Eagle, said development of the hub was the signal of a new era in terms of sports clubs having a sustainable future. “What impressed me most is that there is a lot of learning in terms of bringing together different sports codes and different clubs. There is a realisation the days of every club owning their own building is gone. “Working together with other codes will now become the norm,” Mr Eagle said.

Sports inbrief Swindale Shield final The Wellington Premier club rugby team won their final round in the Swindale Shield at the weekend. The win against Wainuiomata at 33-26 guarantees the team a spot in the Jubilee Cup. The other teams to make the Jubilee Cup this

year are Old Boys University, Upper Hutt Rams, Wainuiomata, Tawa, Marist St Pats, Poneke and Oriental-Rongotai. Jubilee Cup games start this weekend.  For more information, visit www.clubrugby.co.nz

Olympic dominates In Premier Football Wellington Olympic AFC came out of the Queen’s Birthday weekend on high, drubbing North Wellington 6-0 on Saturday. Wellington Olympic also dominated the Men’s Central League, beating

Stop Out 2-1 in a drama-filled game, and landed themselves in second place on the league table. Though Stop Out was the first to score, Olympic came out on top after controlling possession in the second half.

Ciaran Bolger, Honey Jayde Hata, Lola Beck and Brad Robson will all enjoy the new Toitu Poneke Community and Sports Hub.

The Blue Card comes to Wellington rugby Wellington Rugby is set to protect its players from the ongoing effects of concussion by introducing the Blue Card. Now, referees in Wellington’s College Sport Premier 1 Division will be able to issue a Blue Card to any player they suspect to have suffered a concussion. The same rules will apply to the men’s senior Premier and Premier Reserve grades during the second round of those competitions from June 11. Players who receive a Blue Card must leave the field immediately and will then be formally subject to the existing minimum mandatory day stand down periods

before they can return to play. Those are set at 21 days for senior players and 23 for those who are under-19. Wellington Rugby Football Union’s (WRFU) head of community rugby Will Caccia-Birch said the Blue Card was designed to prevent players from returning to training or playing before they had gained an appropriate medical clearance. “A player’s decision around when they are fit to train or play after a suspected head knock has often been left to their own judgement, or that of their own team’s coaching or management staff. The Blue Card takes that responsibility out of

their hands. “Once the Blue Card is issued Wellington Rugby can formally track a player’s movements during their recovery. The player must gain a medical certificate from a health professional, and then provide it to the WRFU before they are eligible to return to the field.” Wellington Rugby has followed the lead of the Northland Rugby Union which trialled the Blue Card in 2014. New Zealand Rugby has now formally approved the Blue Card Concussion Initiative and Wellington is the first provincial union after Northland to officially introduce it to its competitions. Situation Vacant

Wellington to host Lions Wellington will host two back-toback British and Irish Lions rugby matches during the New Zealand Lions Series 2017. Wellington will get a major share of next year’s series with the Lions set down to play the Hurricanes on Tuesday June 27 at Westpac Stadium followed by the All Blacks -Lions Test match on Saturday July 1. Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive, Chris Whelan, said the economic

benefits for the Wellington region of the series would be significant and multifaceted. “The estimated $25 million in direct spending over the week the Lions are in town is just one dimension of the economic opportunity the series will provide for Wellington,” he said. “Positive Wellington recommendations shared by some 20,000 travelling fans with their friends and family in the UK will be incredibly valuable in terms of promotion.

“Wellington will deliver an exceptional event destination experience and we’ll be working across business, government and the community, to ensure Lions fans are converted into passionate Wellington ambassadors. “We’re also working closely with business and government agencies to leverage trade and hosting opportunities to maximise the benefit to Wellington from such a major international sporting event.”

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