Sea­son rings in the changes

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Perera

The 2016 Kar­ratha hockey sea­son started last week and it comes with some im­prove­ments for lo­cal play­ers, in­clud­ing a new “pro-level” com­pe­ti­tion and a big­ger play­ing field.

From April, the Nickol Bay Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion will start a 10week com­pe­ti­tion strictly for ex­pe­ri­enced hockey play­ers that will run sep­a­rately from the usual fix­tures.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Steve Cook said it was a re­sponse to de­mand for a more elite level of play.

“There are some great hockey play­ers in Kar­ratha and we are pro­vid­ing them with the op­por­tu­nity for an awe­some com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

“The qual­ity of play­ers in Kar­ratha is very high. We have mem­bers who have played in the high­est grade in Perth, which is re­garded as the best com­pe­ti­tion in Aus­tralia.

“We hope to get both men and women to fill at least four small teams.”

He said the elite com­pe­ti­tion would also help to pre­pare play­ers for the North West Re­gional Cham­pi­onships and WA Coun­try Hockey Cham­pi­onships later this year.

The as­so­ci­a­tion is also look­ing for­ward to bet­ter court in­fra­struc­ture. A new re­tractable ten­nis net added to the Bul­garra ten­nis courts by the City of Kar­ratha means hockey games will be played across four ten­nis courts in­stead of the pre­vi­ous two, cre­at­ing an al­most full-sized hockey field.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has also sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced fees for un­der-18s, from $225 to $60, to at­tract more young play­ers.

Pres­i­dent Alex Walker said the as­so­ci­a­tion was pro­mot­ing fun and fit­ness for boys and girls who could en­joy the op­por­tu­nity to be so­cial out­side of school in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the new sea­son, call Mr Cook on 9144 4423.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Perera

De­clan Tus­sler, 17, Annabelle Lit­tle, Tyler Atkin­son, 17, Dy­lan Felix, 17, Alex Wal­ter and Gina Leckie.

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