Thames Sport and Recreation Project

Active Thames 2018 is an initiative by the Thames Community Board, together with the Thames Sport and Education Community Trust, to realise a new skate park at Porritt Park, a new indoor gymnasium located at Thames High School, and a multi-sport clubrooms development at Rhodes Park. In addition, the feasibility of a sub-regional aquatic centre is to be examined.

Thames Indoor Sports Facility

Total Cost: $4.5 million (contingency $300,000)

Breakdown of funding: $850,000 from grants, $390,800 to come from community fundraising and sponsorship, $440,000 from Thames High School, remainder from ratepayers.

Cost to ratepayers: $17 - $18 per annum approx.

Construction began in late 2016 and the facility is expected to be finished in 2017. The opening has been delayed from the originally anticipated date in July because excess moisture has been detected on the finished ceiling tiles caused by condensation on the underside of the roof structure in cold conditions. As soon as the remedial design has been finalised, work will commence to rectify the problem allowing the facility to open soon after. Council is of the opinion that none of the costs will be borne by the ratepayer.

Gym floor being laid mid-June 2017

Behind the scenes of the Thames Indoor Sports project. The floor being laid mid-June 2017.

Foundations being dug for Thames Indoor Sports Facility 11 November 2016
The foundations for the indoor sports facility being dug and prepared - 11 November 2016


Community groups and Thames High School athletes have been competing for court time which doesn’t allow for any growth.

This fit-for-purpose two-court facility will meet tournament requirements for netball and basketball, provide an indoor alternative, and caters to; Netball, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Gymnastics, Futsal, Circus and Kiaido Ryu. It will also create opportunities for other recreational activities to grow.

The Sports and Education Trust has advocated for the project and worked hard to bring in overwhelming financial support from sponsors and the community. Thanks to all those who have contributed.

You can see the growing list of sponsors here.

For more information about how you can support Active Thames 2018's Skate and Scooter Park, Thames Indoor Sports Facility and Rhodes Park projects, call Mary Hamilton on 027 503 5505. 

 Thames Skate and Scooter Park


Powerco Skate Park is completed and being well used.

We worked with skaters on the design of this family-friendly skate and scooter park at Porritt Park that has the potential for a future pump track extension. It features a 1.5m high mini ramp that steps down to a 1.2m high mini ramp with flyout and rising quarter section. A low pyramid with ledge, kinked flat round rail and sculptural ‘nugget’ manual box are in the street section with a wide turnaround 0.95m high quarter pipe at the far end. The skate park will complement the expanded playground area which includes a new toilet block.

Project Manager: Simon Stephens

Contractor: Rich Landscapes

Funding: Thames Community Board in conjunction with major sponsor Powerco, which donated $125,000 towards the skatepark and Thames Indoor Sports Facility. The skate park was named in honour of Powerco because of their generous donation.

Concept design for skate and scooter park in Porritt Park, Thames
(Concept design for the skate and scooter park at Porritt Park)

Powerco Chief Executive Nigel Barbour says the company is committed to supporting worthwhile projects in the regions it operates in. “We are thrilled to be involved with this project, including the skate park which will give locals a family-friendly space for skateboarding, scootering and other activities. Active Thames 2018 is a fantastic opportunity and we are proud to be a major supporter,” he says.

Active Thames 2018 is interested in hearing from any other potential partners. For more information, please contact Mary Hamilton on 027 503 5505.

Pictured L-R: PowerCo Chief Executive Nigel Barbour with Mayor Glenn Leach and Deputy Mayor Peter French at the site of the soon-to-be constructed skate and scooter park.

(Pictured L-R: PowerCo Chief Executive Nigel Barbour with then-Mayor Glenn Leach and then-Deputy Mayor Peter French in early 2016 at the site of the soon-to-be constructed skate and scooter park.)

Rhodes Park

The other component of Active Thames 2018 is a proposal for multi-sport clubrooms at Rhodes Park. It is programmed for 2018/19 as part of the 2015-25 Long Term Plan. The business case will go to Council for approval, so this one is still in its early planning stages.

Fundraising and project details

To find out who our funding partners and supporters are and how you can become one click here.



Swimming pool

Another sport and recreation facility for Thames under consideration is a replacement for the ageing Centennial Pool at Taipari Park, which was built in the 1960s.

At its 21 February 2017 meeting, our Council resolved to bring forward the 2017/18 funding of $53,226 for a feasibility study into a sub-regional aquatic centre into the 2016/17 financial year.

The pool tank is in a reasonable condition for its age but the surrounding concrete aprons have substantial cracking and lifting according to the 2014 condition assessment report. Scheduled renewals are estimated to be $146, 714 in 2020/21. The lifespan of the pool tank is unable to be accurately determined but 7-10 years has been an accepted estimate.

Ngati Maru has notified our Council of its objection to the siting of the pool on Taipari Park due it being the location of an historic urupa. Council has indicated that the replacement facility would on an alternative site to Taipari Park.

A 2013 review of sports and recreation facility needs for the Thames Ward proposed a new aquatic centre as well as a new skate park, indoor sports facility and replacement of the Rhodes Park grandstand and clubrooms.

The review, "Thames Ward Sport and Recreation Facilities Review and Future Directions", said:

"The Aquatic Centre has a major capital and operating cost implication and the consultant team recommends the final scope of the Aquatic Centre needs to be a District-wide decision, if not a sub-Regional decision.

The greater Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki Districts justify one quality indoor aquatic facility with multiple water spaces to cater for all markets (leisure, fitness/competitive, Learn-to-Swim, health and therapy)."

The Thames Community Board has stated its preference for a new aquatic centre as Centennial Pool is nearing its capacity and Thames is well placed to provide a sub-regional facility serving the district and greater Thames Valley.

In addition, the Waikato Region Sports Facility Plan recognises the potential of a sub-regional aquatic facility being located in the Thames Valley area, potentially involving partnerships between either our Council and Hauraki District Council, or between Hauraki District and Matamata-Piako District Council.

The feasibility study would test that concept and propose the recommended location and partnership proposal.