$500k upgrade for main football pitch

Friday February 17, 2017 Written by CIFA MEDIA Published in Soccer
Local worker, Marsh Tamatea from Tupapa works on drain slits at the CIFA ground in Matavera. 17021623 Local worker, Marsh Tamatea from Tupapa works on drain slits at the CIFA ground in Matavera. 17021623

A field upgrade project to the tune of $500,000 has started on the Cook Islands Football Association’s main pitch in Matavera.

The project, which has been a pipedream for over 18 months, became a reality three weeks ago, when work began to improve the sand-carpet pitch ahead of a busy year for the association.

CIFA president Lee Harmon said the project had been waiting for a while now and approval for funding had been approved earlier this month.

“We are very grateful to FIFA for the financial assistance and to Todd Bust of Ag & Turf for accepting to take on the contract.”

The much-needed repairs followed several problems in recent football seasons, such as surface flooding and a malfunctioned drainage system.

The maintenance work is expected to address these problems and prevent them from occurring in future seasons.

Carrying out the heavy duty work is professional turf specialist AG and Turf Limited from New Zealand under managing director Todd Bust, who will ensure the pitch is back in top form by early April.

The team have moved progressively despite heavy rainfall experienced in the last few weeks, installing a new and improved main lateral drainage system.

They are now in the process of putting in slit drains. 

Over the next week, a series of 2x10 inch deep slits will cut through the length of the pitch to make way for gravel and sand into the surface before top dressing the field with 40mm of sand to let the grass grow through.

The project is expected to be completed by the first week of April in time for CIFA’s inaugural Kia Orana Youth Football Festival that will be held from 15 to 22.

The infrastructure project is being fully funded by the FIFA Special Projects Fund.

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