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Thursday, September 29 2022
New look cricket pavilion opened at Christchurch's Elmwood Park

Cricket fans may recognise Old Boys Collegians Cricket Club's iconic pavilion design from elsewhere in the city.

The pavilion, nestled in the corner of Elmwood Park in Christchurch, shares the same white, plastic roof structure as the one at Hagley Oval.

Old Boys Collegians, the South Island's largest cricket club, officially opened the new pavilion over the weekend ahead of the 2022/23 season.

Club president Steve Wakefield got involved in the process of a new facility after watching his sons play at the park and use the portable changing rooms "year after year" following the Christchurch earthquakes.

Wakefield joined the club's committee soon after and began the process of getting Elmwood Park a modern cricket pavilion.

Funding for the pavilion began after he persuaded his now late father Jim Wakefield to give the club the money it needed to start the build. The pavilion has since been named the Jim Wakefield pavilion and was officially opened at 9am on Saturday in front of past and present representative players.

Wakefield called the design a "modest echo" of Hagley Oval's roof design of five peaks.

"We decided to do a similar one for Elmwood Park, just with a single peak."

Trevor Watt, of Athfield Architects, worked on both Hagley and Elmwood's cricket pavilions and says the design creates the "desired village green concept".

"There is a modern international tradition, which originated at Lord's Cricket Ground, for this building typology to reflect cricket.

"The white pavilion colour against a green backdrop echoes the traditional cricket whites against a green outfield."

Canterbury Magician and OBC premier women's player Abby Gerken says the new pavilion is a "brilliant asset" to the club.

The 20-year-old has played for the club since she was 11 and has only ever known the old Portacom buildings at Elmwood Park.

"Without the pavilion, there were a lot of issues regarding social activities so hopefully, the new facilities are able to bring all the teams closer together and build that club environment even more," she said.

"I honestly think that Elmwood Park is like a little Hagley Oval… not a bad thing to associate with club cricket."

With approximately 500 junior players at the club, the new pavilion is exciting for young players who haven't known undamaged clubrooms.

Eight-year-old OBC player Ollie Turner has played for the club for three years, and thinks the new pavilion is good for the club, saying the old changing rooms were "really small."

He enjoys going down to games at Hagley Oval in the summer and says the design of his club's pavilion is "pretty cool."

"It does actually look like Hagley Oval."

Wakefield says the club has been "really pleased" with feedback on the design.

"A lot of people have said to me, just driving down Heaton St, it looks so iconic in the corner of the park."

He says that it's like a "revitalisation" to have the pavilion finished before the 100th club anniversary in 2024 as well.

Posted by: AT 04:11 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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