Plans to build Wits’ first artificial hockey turf are underway.

“The tenders to have the turf built will be submitted for approval on Friday April 20,” said Erika Venter from the Wits Sports Administration (WSO).

Wits University only has one indoor hockey turf and teams have to travel off campus to either the Kaspersky Randburg Astro Turf or St John’s College in Houghton.

“Many Wits hockey players find practicing off campus an issue and the new turf will be a relief for those players as Sports Admin does not provide transportation,” said Shane Skinner, Wits Hockey chairman.

Budget constraints have halted previous plans to build the turf. The new turf, complete with lighting, fencing and the club house will cost Wits Sports Administration between R7-million and R9-million.

Wits have three hockey players that compete on a national level and the building of this new turf will be of great benefit to them.

“The new artificial turf is in line with a series of plans to improve sports infrastructure at Wits,” said Size Vardhan WSO Director Size Vardhan.

The new turf will be located on Wits’ education campus and will be completed before the end of the 2012 academic year.