From The Sideline with Ferghttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/[email protected]548543The Flyer MagazineThe Flyer Magazinehttps://theflyer.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/[email protected]
From The Sideline
Nice to be in Alert Level 1 and crowds back enjoying sport. Covid has taken a lot away from us and we are all adapting to sport as it exists at the moment. Thanks for the effort you have put in to help get us there.
A real positive on the horizon is that later this year we should see progress in the construction of an all-weather, mutli-use turf at the Queenstown Events Centre. Even before my days on the Queenstown Lakes District Council I was a vocal supporter of a turf in the Wakatipu Basin. I could not fathom how we existed in an alpine environment and did not have one. I saw first-hand the commitment of local hockey club members, the continual travel through the Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell for training and games and the substandard facilities that we offered for the sport in Queenstown. I remember when hockey teams used to train on the netball courts at the Queenstown Primary School. Take a look at the quarter turf down by Frankton Beach and how inadequate that is. So hats off to local hockey players who have endured throughout the years and we all look forward to the completion of the turf project next year. The big plus is that it will be multi-use and with the enhancement of technology and design many sports will benefit, which should help to ease congestion on some of the playing fields. It has been a long time coming and we will see its benefit almost immediately.
The Rugby Championship has been secured by Australia as New Zealand dips out, and Queenstown loses the opportunity to host Australia, South Africa and Argentina for a period of approximately six weeks. I know planning was well-advanced and I am sure the region would have embraced the teams and created something special that they might not have been expecting. Could you imagine Argentina Days, or Springbok Days and Aussie Days? Getting communities and residents to dress in the blue and white, or the green and gold, dividing the basin up to fly the flags of the various teams, and the list goes on. An opportunity lost but not altogether, with other codes looking to maybe bring teams here as has been documented recently. The big blow was the possibilty of a test match at the Queenstown Events Centre between Argentina and South Africa. This was, oh, so close to being given the green light. New Zealand Rugby was very supportive and one of the benchmarks was 15,000 supporters through the gate. If that was capacity we would have filled it. Fans from Otago and Southland would have seen to that! It may have been our only opportunity to host a rugby test in Queenstown. But like the Mainland Cheese commercial says, ‘Good things take time’, ay.