Carnival is a firm favourite with juniors
Nearly 1800 super keen young hockey athletes from around the State converged on Bunbury over the long weekend for the biggest carnival of its kind in Australia.
The South West Smarter than Smoking Junior Hockey Carnival was comprised of 138 teams with 470 games played out over 14 grass and 2 synthetic fields in three days.
The carnival is a favourite among players and supporters for its emphasis on participation, providing a championship grade with a sought after Premier’s Flag to be won as well as a Carnival Grade for junior players.
With around eight games per team, the young players’ level of skill noticeably increased with that festival atmosphere that Bunbury Hockey has worked hard to create over many years around the grounds which keeps players and families coming back every year.
Players from local clubs joined as one to ensure a strong Bunbury contingent of 12 teams with a championship side in every division and six carnival teams.
About a dozen youngsters volunteered at the drink and ice cream vans and fundraised with raffles and had to opportunity to display their skills at the highly anticipated night games where many supporters socialised, enjoying the country hockey atmosphere.
Bunbury’s 5/6 Championship Girls and 9/10 Championship Boys both made it through to their grand finals.
The enthusiastic 5/6 Bunbury girls teams were a favourite among the local supporters coming up against a skilful Perth team, WASPS, in the final putting on a grand final to be proud of.
The game ended in a 1-all draw with WASPS awarded the Gold Medal as the higher finisher on the ladder and Bunbury taking home the silver.
Bunbury 9/10 boys had a solid line-up going up against an experienced UWA in a tightly fought match that finished in a scoreless draw, going straight into penalty strokes.
Both teams provided their five players each and were 3-3 after the first round. Sudden death continued and the crowd cheered and supported both teams as they battled out with UWA finally coming out on top 7-6.
Kolbee Docking and Ella Smith were part of the Bunbury Hockey Association’s 5/6 girls championship team which won a silver medal.