How one grant could revive indoor hockey on the Fraser Coast
HOCKEY: IT'S a grant that could signal the rebirth of indoor hockey in the Fraser Coast region.
With a $436,300 funding grant to revamp Maryborough's indoor hockey centre, Maryborough and District Hockey Association president Tony Quaill says the new centre will give the region's hockey stars a place to play for the first time in almost two decades.
Some of the refurbishments include a full floor replacement, more spectator seating for the centre and new LED lights and scoreboards for the indoor centre on the corner of Woodstock and Neptune Sts.
The work will mean hockey players like Jessie and Shae Staples will have a dedicated place to hone their skills and practice for upcoming competitions.
"We've been playing indoor since we were about 10-11,” Jessie said.
"To have a field that is our own, that we can practice on all the time, means we have extra time on the ball so we can perform better when we go away.”
Trudi Pedersen, who was named in the national hockey squad in 2018, said it would be good for Maryborough's hockey teams to have their own hub for future competitions.
The Maryborough hockey group is the only hockey association in Queensland that own their own premises, but have not used their centre in years due to its declining quality.
Quaill said it was a long time coming for the group, who are often forced to rent the fields at the Maryborough Showgrounds in order to play.
"With our current players, they will get more opportunity to use the facility whenever they want,” Quaill said.
"We can plan to get state and Australian representatives up to do training packages with our kids.
"We didn't play indoor hockey up until about six years ago, because our facility wasn't up to standard.”
Other sporting groups will still be able to use the new sports centre once it is completed.
Quaill said indoor hockey had taken off across the country in the last five years and the refurbished centre would help give local players better representation in competitions.
"It will create so many more development opportunities and give them a lot more opportunity to train,” he said.
"From Under-13 up to Open levels, we'd have 20-30 players.
"We're aiming for October to have this completed, which is when our season starts.”