Summer Sport Season to be Delayed

21 September 2010

The start of the summer sport season is likely to be delayed by up to three weeks due to wet weather holding up crucial renovation work on sportsfields.

Cricket, summer football, touch rugby, softball and athletics are among the many summer sports and activities that will be affected as the wet weather has made it difficult to get the city's parks and sportsfields into shape after the winter season and some grounds are still holding a lot of water.

Wellington City Council's Sportsfields Manager, Trevor Jackson, says the grounds have been so saturated that they are now four weeks behind with scheduled work, including the renovation of cricket blocks, re-seeding of winter fields and re-levelling with topsoil and sand.

"Even if the weather and ground conditions changed dramatically over the coming week and we were able to get the required work under way, we are still looking at a delayed start to the summer season - which was officially due to begin at Labour Weekend.

"We will be working closely with the sporting codes around a possible start date as there will be a potential staggered start to the season as some grounds dry out before others."

On grounds that have managed to dry out, mostly in the south and east of the city, grass re-seeding and other work is currently being undertaken. However, at least three days of dry weather is needed before Council staff can start any major work on other sportsfields.

"Over the course of the renovation period, we expect to distribute 6 - 700 cubic metres of topsoil and 14 tonnes of grass seed over the sportsfields," he says.

Porirua and Hutt City Councils are in a similar position with the wet winter also affecting the start date of their summer sports season.

In August this year, 205mm of rain was recorded - the most wet days in August in seven years - compared to 135mm in August last year.

"We are hoping for an improvement in the weather and will keep assessing the situation but until then we are asking teams to please keep off fields while we can do this work.

"This will allow grounds to recover before we head into a very busy summer and winter period."

The Council is urging people to phone its cancellation line, (04) 801 4134 or visit the Sportsgrounds section of this website to check on grounds:

Sportsgrounds

Information is updated daily and will say which grounds are closed and list any exceptions.