A brand new international standard hockey field, located in Kingswood, will officially open in a matter of weeks after the State Government kicked in $1.2 million to fund various field upgrades in the western Sydney area.
On Tuesday afternoon, Penrith MP and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres joined Hockey NSW CEO David Thompson, to announce funding support for upgrades to the Western Sydney Hockey Centre in Kingswood as well as the Macarthur Regional Hockey Complex in Narellan.
“Western Sydney boasts a strong sporting landscape and by investing in the right kind of facilities, we can boost participation and offer a vision for players to the elite pathway,” Mr Ayres said.
“As hockey grows, our facilities need to diversify and offer more. This investment at Nepean will upgrade the second turf surface from sand to a full international standard.”
Nepean Hockey Association President, Kieran Knowles, said the club had been pushing for field upgrades at the Western Sydney University site for many years.
“This is exciting, it has been a long time in the making,” he told the Weekender.
“The old sand field was put down over 20 years ago and had a life expectancy of 10-15 years, so an upgrade was well overdue.”
Knowles said the upgrade would have numerous benefits.
“We are now upgrading the field to a full international water-based surface, which is the same surface they play on at the Olympic Games,” he said.
When construction is complete in the coming weeks, Nepean Hockey Association will be next in line to hold some major competitions of their own.
“The hope is to hold State and National Championships at this venue in the future,” Knowles said.
“Everyone at the association is really excited that construction is almost finished and they can’t wait to play on it.”
Water-based fields enable a faster, more skilful game, meaning the overall standard of hockey improves.
“This is a fantastic day for the thousands of hockey participants in western Sydney,” Hockey NSW CEO, David Thompson said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.