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Grand Opening a special occasion not to be missed

9 Feb 2023, 9:23 PM

THE grand opening of the new Gallagher Recreation Centre is an occasion not to be missed.

A day full of entertainment and sporting events have been planned for the official opening on Saturday to ensure the multi-million dollar indoor sports complex is showcased to its full potential.

Waitomo District Council and Te Kūiti High School (TKHS) have been working collaboratively with Ngāti Rōrā - mana whenua to organise the special event.

Starting at 6am, an early morning ceremony will be led by Ngāti Rōrā, and will start with a dawn karakia, followed by the unveiling of a special name gifted to the facility.

Other taonga and cultural embellishments in the facility will also be unveiled and explained by Isaiah Wallace and Rāniera Winikerei of Ngāti Rōrā.

Parakuihi (breakfast) will then be held at the School Hall, followed by the formal opening at the Gallagher Recreation Centre at 8.50am.
Sport Waikato CEO Matthew Cooper will MC the occasion and Mayor John Robertson, former TKHS principal Bruce Stephens, current principal Gareth Williams, and Sir William Gallagher will speak about the Gallagher Recreation Centre and the journey from conception to construction.

Following the formalities of the day, a line-up of sporting entertainment will start from 11am with an exciting game of netball between Waikato/BOP Magic and Northern Stars.

Netball fans will also have an opportunity to get autographs after the game.

Please note, due to limited seating being available, the netball game is a ticketed event and only those who have secured tickets to the game can attend.

From lunchtime, there will be light entertainment provided outside with food trucks available and a free sausage sizzle, sponsored by Te Kuiti New World.

From 1pm, the Gallagher Recreation Centre will be open to the public and Belgravia Leisure will be onsite to provide information and receive gym membership registrations.

At 2pm, local junior basketballers will take to the court with a game between Maniapoto Māori U13 Tama vs Waitomo Mixed U13. Both teams have grown up playing in the local miniball competition and are excited to be the first teams to play on the new basketball courts.

Following the junior game, there will be another game of basketball between NZ Army Men vs Invitational NBL Team, featuring local, homegrown basketballers Connor Coll and Eli Katipa-Maikuku.

Connor has played for NBL team Southland Sharks for several years while Eli plays for the NZ Army Mens team.

Both games are open to the public, but seats are limited.

Unfortunately, the planned guest appearances by Chiefs players Josh Lord and Quinn Tupaea will no longer happen due to injury.

Maniapoto FM will also be onsite all day to MC the event and broadcast live.

We encourage as many people as possible to come to the grand opening and share in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.