Hockey champ backs calls for facilities
An international gold-medal winning hockey champion is backing the Margaret River Hockey Club to get its own facilities.
Kookaburra’s midfielder and former Margaret River resident Aran Zalewski played for the local club in his junior years and said community sport drove him into his international career.
The Margaret River Hockey Club has roots back as far as the 1930s, but has no local clubrooms or pitch.
Club president Colin Fox said players travelled to Busselton multiple times a week for training and games, but it was affecting the club’s development.
“We used to have a grass field in the past, which soccer and rugby now occupy,” he said.
Hockey was recently flagged for inclusion in the $1.1 million redevelopment of Gloucester Park’s Lower Western oval.
“Unfortunately, we cannot share a grass pitch with these sports as their studded footwear makes the surface too uneven for a hockey ball,” Mr Fox said.
Zalewski, who recently co-captained the Australian team to win their 15th Hockey Champions Trophy in the Netherlands, said a local hockey pitch was essential.
“I think it’s very important for any sort of success moving forward,” he said. “I grew up playing hockey in Margaret River as a junior when the participation and competition was high.
“It definitely helped me enjoy my hockey more and hone my skills.
“The travel to Busselton, Bunbury or Perth to compete is difficult for some people so having a facility close by would encourage a lot more people to use this and get involved in hockey.”
The club is liaising with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River to discuss options.
Visit margaretriverhockey.org. au.
Margaret River Hockey Club president Colin Fox and junior co-ordinator Maxine Williams with Daisy the dog.