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Saxton Field is a jointly-owned and funded regional sport and recreation facility benefiting the residents of Nelson and Tasman District. You can take part in a broad range of activities at Saxton Field:
The new $2 million Saxton Field Hockey and Softball Pavilion opened in November 2010. The project came in under budget. Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council provided 63% of the funding for the building (split 60/40% between the Council’s under the Regional Facilities funding agreement) and the Hockey and Softball Associations provided the 37% balance.
The new two-storey facility, which includes a lounge and bar, two offices, two meeting rooms, changing facilities and toilets, viewing decks for softball, and a viewing window from the lounge and bar.
Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Hockey and Softball Associations extend sincere thanks to all sponsors, in particular the major sponsors: Nelson Pine Industries, Sprig and Fern Taverns, GJ Gardner Homes and the Canterbury Community Trust.
Nelson hockey got its first artificial turf field in 1993, and in 2006 the second water surface was laid. Hockey has approximately 900 registered players of all ages. Nelson softball has approximately 600 registered players and has four all-weather diamonds at Saxton Field. Both associations host annual tournaments and the new pavilion will help attract top national events.
The Cricket, athletics and football pavilion has received a $400,000 grant from the Lottery Community Facilities Funding. The amount will be applied towards the $3.8 million construction costs of the new cricket, athletics and football facility. The grant is conditional on the Saxton Field Pavilion Charitable Trust contributing towards the costs. Council continues to support the Trust continuing work to raise funds for the construction costs through a sponsorship naming rights arrangement.
The new pavilion will be located to provide changing facilities and viewing areas over the athletics track, soccer pitch and cricket oval. In combination with the existing cricket oval, utility building and practice wicket the pavilion will meet New Zealand Cricket Warrant of Fitness Guidelines for all first class cricket matches. The pavilion has also been designed so that it meets New Zealand athletics requirements for meetings. The requirements of soccer for National League competitions are also met.
The build took six months, with the facility being opened in November 2011.
The pavilion will also be available for other events and for use as a meeting facility for local community groups and residents.
The cricket oval is finished and in use by some senior clubs. The Cricket Association reports they are happy with the playing surface, with the ground being prepared to international standards. The wicket was constructed of special clay from Waikari in North Canterbury that is renowned for its true and consistent bounce.
The next stage is to add a maintenance shed suitable as a support facility for outdoor concerts. The addition of a shared cricket, athletics and soccer pavilion with changing facilities will follow with funding provided in 2009/10.
You don’t have to be a sports jock to enjoy Saxton Field! This proposal provides for more ‘passive’ or less formal enjoyment, with small playgrounds dotted around the park, as well as a larger playground that is intended to be a regional attraction (like the Lions Playground at Tahunanui).
There will be a pond that could be used by modellers, with a picnic and play area alongside it. Around the whole complex, there will be a layout of walkways, a fitness circuit, and paths for roller-bladers.
The first parcel of land at Saxton Field was bought by the Nelson City Council in 1977. In 1983, work started on the first sports facility and the site was planted up with trees and shrubs. There is a buffer of native trees along the main road and deciduous, trees including oaks and liquidambers, around the field. Read more about the history of Saxton Field.
Another aim with the landscaping is to limit the use of barriers to keep the open feel and to consolidate or share the buildings so they have a minimal environmental impact. The majority of the grounds are designed for multiple use - for example some of the netball courts can be converted for tennis in summer; the proposed netball stadium could also be used by basketball and volleyball; the internal roadways can be used for speed skating or cycling and the passive areas lend themselves to cross country running.
Sports codes have been asked to try and predict their future growth, but some playing areas have been left un-designated for particular codes, to retain flexibility for future use. There are some codes not considered for Saxton Field, as their needs are being met elsewhere - these include rugby league and union, and horse riding.
For more information on Saxton Field please contact the Principal Adviser, Reserves and Community Facilities by email or on +64 3 546 0200.