Matamata will have a long-awaited indoor sports and recreation hub by 2023.
This is the pledge by Bruce Magan, who has stumped up $1 million for the multi-purpose community facility at Matamata College. “Let’s make it happen,” says Bruce, a long-time Matamata businessman and part of the working party set up to make the dream become a reality.
The two-court facility, on college land off Station Rd, will cost around $7 million to build. Bruce says more than 40 per cent of funding has already been raised including his personal donation and $2 million from Matamata-Piako District Council.
The aim is to start building in the summer of 2022-2023, with completion in mid-2023. Bruce says a wide variety of sports and recreational activities will be catered for, covering all ages and abilities. This includes netball, basketball, volleyball and badminton, plus other activities ranging from martial arts to marching. Along with the two indoor courts, the hub also includes a multi-purpose room and viewing lounge. Bruce says it will be a true community facility, open to clubs and schools, and with the potential to host national and regional events. Matamata lacks a central purpose-built facility like this, he says. “Indoor sporting codes are simply not catered for well here and our budding sports stars have to ply their trade in city centres.”

College connection

Matamata College has ageing indoor sports facilities, so the college connection was an obvious one, he says. “This is not just about the current crop, but for generations to come.” Bruce says the hub will also sit nicely near Matamata Intermediate and Firth Primary. Use will be split 70 per cent community and 30 per cent schools. Currently in talks with Council, the facility will be managed by a charitable trust including representatives from Matamata Futures, Sport Waikato, iwi, council and the wider community. A professional sports manager will run the operation on a day-to-day basis. To make it happen, Bruce says community buy-in is vital. A variety of sponsorship/donation options are available, including naming rights for the complex.

“Talk is cheap,” says Bruce. “If Matamata really wants this to happen, now is the time to step up.”
The working group is out and about in the community, and further afield, approaching corporates and individuals alike from both the urban and rural sectors for contributions. Bruce says feedback to date has been hugely positive. “After all the talk over the years, there is a real appetite to get it up and running,” he says. “Sports clubs and schools we have spoken to are right behind it.”
Bruce says the hub will be an amenity that Matamata will be proud of, now and in the future. While catering for current and future generations here, he says it will also be an added attraction for potential future residents of the town and surrounding area. “We’ve done the spadework,” says Bruce. “Now let’s turn the first sod.”