In 2007, St Paul’s Foundation installed the Craigs Investment Partners and St Paul’s Hockey Centre, a water hockey turf at St Paul’s Collegiate School to accommodate the growing demand for high grade hockey facilities in Hamilton.
Hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand, with grassroots level attracting more interest from aspiring athletes and the professional game growing to the same popularity as cricket and rugby.
The international grade turf was positively received by St Paul’s students and the wider community, being used by Waikato Hockey, Midlands Hockey, the University of Waikato along with surrounding intermediate and secondary schools. The attraction of high performance associations to the turf has facilitated mentor programmes between secondary school students and Midlands/Waikato representatives.
Extensive community-use placed demand on the school to expand the turf to include a warm up area for players pre-match, provide shelter for teams and spectators provide a structure to accommodate video analysis during high performance training.
With support from the Lion Foundation and NZ Community Trust, in 2013, the first stage of this $150,000 expansion started with a warm-up area being built.