Sports & RecreationPropertyIndustry Voices

Rival school grounds maintained by same professional team

When neighbouring schools on Auckland’s North Shore pull on their sports jerseys, they’re fierce competitors. The playing field beneath their feet, however, is maintained by the same professional team.

Since 2017, Recreational Services has been keeping Westlake Boys’ High School and Rosmini College’s sports fields and school grounds in top condition. Besides maintaining a polished outdoor environment for both schools through day-to-day minor repairs, paint touch-ups and bin emptying, Recreational Services is behind their professional quality sports fields, having delivered premier pitch renovations, maintenance and matchday preparation for both.

The nationwide service provider worked with Westlake Boys’ sports director to plan and deliver the school’s sports fields overhaul. The contractor now manages two soil fields used for rugby, rugby league, football, cricket, PE classes, lacrosse, athletics, and two sand carpet fields also used for multiple sports. Their service entails mowing, line marking, irrigation management and more. Recreational Services also maintains the school’s full-size artificial football field carrying out grooming and sweeping. Consulting divsion, Sports Surface Design Management Services (SSDM), also provided a feasibility study for the upgrade of the sand fields.

Westlake Boys’ Principal David Ferguson says, “Our cricket block and outfield is now excellent and something we are really proud of.” Ferguson told School News that outsourcing these services has been easy with Recreational Services. “They have been reliable, proactive and easy to communicate with. They consistently do a good job.” And he recommends other schools follow suit.

“They’re a great team who have always responded to whatever we have brought up with them. They’re very knowledgeable, have great staff, and we are really happy with them.”

Rosmini Headmaster Nixon Cooper is equally an advocate of outsourcing the school’s ground maintenance and caretaking services. He says: “Working with Recreational Services has enabled the school’s outdoor environment to be at its best. The school has developed a close working relationship with the Recreational Services ground staff. The Recreational Services groundsman is on friendly first name terms with many of the staff.”

Recreational Services manage one sand carpeted field, one sand couch grass field, one sand Kikuyu field, and two soil fields for the all-boys Catholic secondary school. To improve drainage and playability, they gravel banded the school’s number one and two fields. A feasibility study to improve the drainage and field space optimisation of fields two, three and four were also carried out through SSDM.

Rosmini College. Image courtesy of Recreational Services.

Headmaster Cooper added, “The main positive from the relationship has been fields that the college can be proud of. The maintenance of the cricket pitch has been particularly impressive and visiting teams comment on the quality of the pitch. We would have no hesitation in recommending Recreational Services to other schools.”

Recreational Services’ managing director Brett Turner says, “Rosmini and Westlake are on the field competitors, but both schools’ sports fields and school grounds are looked after by the same professional team, and we are extremely proud of that.”

Heather Barker Vermeer

Heather has worked as a journalist, writer and editor in England and Aotearoa New Zealand for over 20 years. She fell in love with words when she received a 'Speak & Spell' tech toy for Christmas in 1984.
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