Robotic revolution transforms BOP sports fields

The new technology will make field marking much faster and easier. Supplied photos.

A new robot is expected to revolutionise sports fields and free up volunteers.

The New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) has granted $67,014 to the Eastern Bay of Plenty Rugby Sub Union (EBOPRSU) for the purchase of an automated line-marking robot.

The new technology will make field marking much faster and easier, freeing up valuable time for their volunteers, who previously had to dedicate substantial hours to this manual task.

It represents an investment in modernising EBOPRSU’s operations, helping them work more efficiently to better support their community of rugby players and enthusiasts.

“With the significant time and effort invested in the line-marking process, we found it very difficult to get the necessary volunteers,” says spokesperson Kyle Barton.

“There was a strain on their availability which has been placing a considerable burden on the organisation.”

The robot allows them to focus more on coaching, mentoring, and other important duties rather than field maintenance.

“All outdoor sports in the region can benefit from this new equipment immensely, as the intention is to share the machine with other sports organisations in the region.

“The prospect of volunteers overseeing the line-marking robot aligns seamlessly with our commitment to optimise our limited financial resources.”

EBOPRSU life member George Rogers - the robot marker’s namesake - says after marking the rugby fields at Rugby Park for 18 years with several types of markers, seeing the new marker is beyond belief.

“Its profile and method of operation is state-of-the-art, and it uses much less paint to mark the field.”

NZCT grants, marketing and communications general manager Ben Hodges says this is a great use of technology to free up volunteers’ time so they can focus on other community sport matters.

“I love how the machine will be shared with other sporting codes for the benefit of everyone.

“We’re delighted our responsible gaming fundraising partnerships with Cobb and Co Whakatāne and the Kawerau Hotel have resulted in this grant.”


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