Playing for Keeps - Sports Field Project
Wednesday, 15 December 2021

The St John’s Foundation last year agreed to drive the improvement of the No 1 Sports Field at St John’s College. This field is heavily used by the school both during school hours as an Outdoor Classroom and then after school hours by the SJC Rugby teams.

Originally the fields had to deal with up to 400 boys we now have over 900 boys who at some stage during the school week are likely to step onto the field. The two major issues are in summer it dries out like concrete and in winter once it starts raining the field is out of commission.
In 2019 with the help of Grassroots Trust and Ray White Hamilton we installed new goal posts similar to Rotorua Stadium and moved the field North to allow more room for Cricket and to stop rugby balls lobbing into the subdivision below.

In 2020 thanks to a Foundation lunch and more Grassroots Trust assistance a bore, tank and control was installed allowing the school to be able to water the No 1 field, potential to extend that to the No 2 field plus the Hort Block and other school uses. Thanks to some awesome help from Adam Bradstreet from Waikato Pumps getting this work done.

The next stage which is soon to happen as a result of support from Pat Peoples from Schick Construction is a $140k sand slitting and drainage project that we expect to start early in the new year. This is an extremely generous donation from Pat and it is not the first time he has come to the party for a school in Hamilton.

As part of this work, we will also be installing 9 sprinkler heads on 3 rows, allowing automated scheduling of water onto the field. The Foundation is underwriting this work costed at $42k and there will be a Buy a Brick programme initiated to cover this cost. The idea is to have past and present families and pupils legally have their names etched into a retaining wall that is described in the next and final stage of the project. The Contractor for this work will be TIC Contracting Ltd.

The last stage of the project is to create terraced seating on the Bank which will involve excavating 4 rows in amphitheater style seating close to Old Gym/ halfway line. The Contractors for this will be Vision Complete Earthworks with the owner and close friend of Andrew Webby, who is on the Board, Pizo Pienaar committing to do this work free of charge. We are currently working through retaining wall options for this work.

The Foundation is really pleased to be able to drive this project with the full support of the St John’s Board and of course the generous help for people named above. Please check out the buy a brick or sponsors wall where you will be able to financially support this project which will soon be launched.  Further information can be accessed here