We identified a challenge...
- Original Poneke Football Club (Rugby) building with ageing and under-utilised training and social spaces – no longer fit for purpose and financially draining
- Identified lack of “club & community” facilities in the wider region
- Multiple clubs and community groups struggling for affordable venues that are fit for purpose
- Diminishing volunteer base
- Community & Sporting Clubs spending disproportionate time managing buildings, when focus should be on people and programmes
But we already had a base of many positives ...
- Key sporting / community precinct
- High profile location
- Surrounded by growing communities
- Range of cultures, genders and ages in region
- Significant regional Park, already housing public use spaces, Rugby fields x 3, Football field x 1, Cricket pitches x 5, softball, athletics, play ground, Regional Aquatic Centre, Community Library, Recreation Centre and Plunket
- Multiple schools, ASB Indoor Sports Centre and Kilbirnie Shopping / Business District all within easy walk
- Key transport links in place (and likely to be improved)
- Existing building had great bones / spaces
- Proactive and supportive City Council / landowner
Proven Advantages of developing a “hub” ...
- Operational savings
- Member club collaboration on membership, marketing and administration
- Clubs retain own identity and operational control – but enjoy the benefits of “Hub” umbrella and shared facilities
- Modern, fit for purpose facility with high usage rate
- Increased community participation and programmes
- Higher membership numbers
- Improved sporting performance and pathways
- Professionally managed and operated (employment opportunities)
- People are priority
- Promote and support volunteers
- Affordable venue for community to access
- All cultures, all genders, all ages = healthy communities
So, with the support of Our Partners, and thousands of voluntary hours from our Member Clubs, we set about developing the existing Poneke Football Club building into one of New Zealand’s finest venues for club, community, business, family, training, sport and meeting activity - the Toitu Poneke Community & Sports Centre, “thehub”.