Christchurch’s much-awaited multimillion-dollar indoor sport facility at Hagley Oval was officially inaugurated by cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee on 24 May 2022.

The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre is a result of $4.65 million of fundraising including donations from the New Zealand cricket community, major donors include The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust, Sir Stephen Tindall, Glenn and Lynne Ritchie and Mark Stewart. The centre has been termed as the last piece that completes the Hagley Oval Cricket Precinct which has fundraised approximately $20 million in total since 2014.

The 70-year-old Hadlee who has battled cancer since 2018 said he was proud and honoured to have his name on the world-class sport centre.

“It’s a true honour and a wonderful legacy that will benefit thousands. This centre will accommodate the next generation of cricketers.

“Future Black Caps and White Ferns will walk through these doors as they start out on their cricketing journey. This is where lifelong connections will be formed, and dreams will begin.”

Hadlee, who retired from cricket in 1990 and since then had hip and knee replacements, bowled the centre’s first ball to a young cricketer.

Hadlee was accompanied by Canterbury Cricket Trust chairperson Lee Robinson, Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and Stephen and Heather Boock, whose purchase of the former Horticultural Centre originally launched this project.

Lee Robinson, CCT Chair, says the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre is about securing Canterbury’s cricketing future.

“It will give cricketers of all ages and skill levels world-class facilities to train in. But it’s more than that. The Centre is versatile, and we can’t wait to see other sporting codes and community groups utilise this space.”

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Centre will be a wonderful asset for the Christchurch community.

“Until now, our lack of an indoor facility has made it difficult for families having to travel to Lincoln for their young players to train and our teams to train to the best of their ability which puts pressure on the facilities in Lincoln and Rangiora.”

“The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre is the first facility of its kind in Christchurch built since the earthquakes and we are delighted to now have more facilities under construction in the city that will complement the centre.”

The facility features 3.6-metre cricket lanes with 20-metre run-ups, a 300 square metre mezzanine floor with gender-neutral changing rooms and a balcony facing the Hagley Oval.

The centre will also have a multi-use space which can be used for community groups for events or other sports; meaning the wider community will also gain from the centrally located facility.