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The new athletics track at Percival Road in Hastings is now complete and ready for use ahead of schedule and under budget, after eight months of construction work.
Chairman of Hastings Athletics Allan Potts, who organises athletics for youth and children in Hastings District, said the new Hawke’s Bay facility surpassed any expectations held by the athletics community.
“Not only will the region be able to grow participation in athletics, but we’ll also be able to host meets for New Zealand and the Oceania region,” said Mr Potts.
The all-weather athletics facility boasts an international standard category 2 certified track capable of holding events as prestigious as the Oceania games.
Scott Newman, Chief Executive of Athletics New Zealand, said the new facility is of national significance.
“Without doubt, the athletics venue, with its associated support facilities, will be the best provincial athletics facility in New Zealand. Potentially, it could prove to be the single best athletics facility in the country,” he said.
According to Hawke’s Bay Gisborne athletics statistics released by Sport Hawke’s Bay, participation in athletics has risen over the last few years with a 32% increase in 2006/07 (up on 2005/06 levels).
This figure is also supported by a 28.5% rise in competitive junior athletics and a 30% rise in competitive senior athletics. The new Hawke’s Bay ‘home of athletics’ will provide opportunity to grow participation and its affiliated membership base even further.
The new track location, close to the Napier/Hastings Expressway, will offer good access for the Napier Athletics Club as well as participation from Central Hawke’s Bay and Wairoa.
The athletics facilities include:
o high jump areas
o long jump and triple jump run-ups and pits
o discus circles and cages,
o javelin run-ups
o hammer throwing circles and cages
o pole vault run-ups and mat areas
o steeple chase water jumps and running track to accommodate all running events
The track has added features such as a second 100 metre straight, flexibility to hold pole-vault and high-jumps at both ends, the extensive network of ducting required for live television broadcasting, and electronic timing and wind monitoring equipment. It also has provision for installing marquees to protect participants and officials from the elements.