Event centre for sports?

Published in Wairarapa MidWeek 19 June 2017

It would be hard now to imagine Carterton without the Events Centre. In a few short years since October 2011 it has cemented itself into the heart of the Carterton community.

The Big Wai Art sale, The Oversew Fashion Awards, the Charles Rooking Carter Awards dinner, the St Mary’s School Quiz Night, Jacqui Murray School of Dance end of year show are a few examples of annual events that we now expect to be held in the Events Centre.

Bringing together the blend of auditorium, meeting rooms, library, toy library, Plunket Rooms, Information Centre and Youth Centre into a single facility was a masterstroke in both flexibility of usage and providing access to a wide range of the community.

The Events Centre even has a role to play in emergency response. With the recent “Community Emergency Hub” activation exercise to test the Carterton Community Emergency Hub Guide, the Events Centre and a bunch of volunteers showed off its potential to provide an information and coordination centre for the community’s own response to a wide-scale emergency.

However, what of the needs of the Carterton community for sports and recreation? Is it possible to create a similar community facility based around sports as we have for the arts, performance, and civic functions?

Can we imagine a facility in which people of all ages and walks of life are rubbing shoulders and congregating around their favoured sports and means of recreation? Bowlers, tennis players, footballers, rugby players and their friends and relatives could all meet and mingle to watch or participate in the various activities. The gym could lend itself to yoga, Pilates, martial arts, badminton and other indoor activities.

A multipurpose meeting and function centre would provide a clubhouse that works for all and could be reconfigured for specific meetings and club events as required. People can be as active as they wish and see firsthand other options for exercise that they might not normally consider.

The Carterton Sports and Recreation Trust has been working on developing a community sports park in Carterton and has recently presented to Council. It’s time for the people of Carterton to think about the value that such a facility could bring to our town.

Is this a crazy idea that just couldn’t happen here? Take a look up the line at Pahiatua and the Bush Sports Park and Stadium Pahiatua where they’ve made this dream a reality. Let’s enrich Carterton even further with a facility like the Events Centre that will provide another hub for our community, a hub of connected, active people.