AMI NORTH HARBOUR NETBALL with Adele Lendich
AMI Netball Centre – Catering for 400,000 visitors a year a challenging task
This year Netball on the North Shore turns 60. I have been looking at the archives over these 60 years with interest. Some very prominent North Shore family names are evident in the vision to start up a sport that was then known as Ladies ‘Basketball’.
The cancellation of the combined North Harbour Club and Netball North Harbour Ball has been a big disappointment for the community. We really did hope that this ball would capture the imagination of the North Shore, enable everyone to dress up, get a table of friends and come along and support the youth of tomorrow. Sadly this has not been the case. Netball would particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of Gary Monk, Aidan Bennett and Catherine Lamb for their team effort in trying to make the Ball a reality.
Netball North Harbour (NNH) is the busiest sporting centre in New Zealand and arguably the busiest per square foot of any centre in the country. A conservative estimate of visitors to the netball Centre per annum is around 400,000 people. The usage is comparable to a major regional facility such as Auckland Zoo which averages 429,959 people per year. This high usage requires significant funding to enable the centre to operate. Maintenance of courts is an on-going issue as Netball North Harbour receives no funding from Council. This year Netball North Harbour needs more than $300K to repair courts to a safe standard of play. As a hard court facility (as opposed to the grass sports of Rugby, Football and Cricket) we do not have the luxury of financial support from Council and so have to fund our own maintenance and upgrade. This puts a huge financial burden on the organisation.
We endeavour to keep Netball an affordable sport to play because we want to get as many young people playing sport as is possible. This goal however is proving challenging.
As a ‘green facility’ we are open to the public 24/7/365. Most people on the North Shore know that they can drop down to the Onewa Domain in summer and play tennis for free. Despite the thousands that take up this opportunity to play in their leisure time the gold coin donation box generally remains empty.
or www.northharbourclub.co.nz for all of the important details.
By Adele Lendich, CEO
of Netball North Harbour.