Previously hidden on Dey Street, Eastlink Community Sports Hub has made a few changes to stand out in the crowd. Not only has the installation of new signage, listing each sport, made Eastlink more noticeable but the new Wairere Drive expressway now ensures that the clubs are well in view of passers-by.
Eastlink’s Community Sports Hub is home to a number of Waikato Community Sports, including Tennis Waikato-Bays, Waikato Badminton Association, Hamilton Wado Kai Karate Club, Hillcrest Bowling Club (off-site), Hamilton Inline Hockey Club (Inline Skating), Lugton Park Squash Club and Eastlink Cricket Club. Zoe Toombs, the East Hamilton Sport and Recreation Project Manager from Sport Waikato, who has been working alongside Eastlink on increasing the use and the awareness of these facilities as a sporting hub, describes this project as a collaborative approach with the mission of promoting sporting and recreational opportunities to the community.
“The future of sport and the needs of society are changing. People are becoming more time poor but still want to be part of something special, and a Community Sports Hub is a great solution to this. Clubs are beginning to realise that working collectively is beneficial to them, in terms of increasing their capability, funding opportunities and strengthening partnerships” says Toombs.
The Community Sport Hub is based at Lugton Park in East Hamilton and incorporates members from five clubs and two regional associations. This incorporated society sees thousands of members and participants go through their doors each year. All clubs offer a range of membership packages, offers, programmes and holiday programmes. The group comes together to combine resources and use shared facilities and services. The hub model can cater for a wide variety of groups, foster community spirit, and lead to increased participation and membership rates.
TJ Weistra Eastlink Chairperson is a strong advocate of the project, encouraging people to really utilise the service offerings. “Eastlink has a great variety of sports on offer, something to suit everybody. With easy access and plenty of (free) parking spaces available, it is the ideal place to be active with friends and family” says Weistra.
One of Eastlinks initiatives is a multisport holiday programme, being held in April 2015. This programme provides children the opportunity to try and variety of different sports, during their school break.