IT has been 20 years in the making but Fremantle Hockey Club players finally have the multimillion-dollar world class arena they have long craved.
The ribbon has been cut on the $6.5 million Lakelands Hockey and Community Facility in South Lake, set to be the club’s new home and the City of Cockburn’s primary hockey centre.
Boasting an International Hockey Federation-accredited playing field with 500 lux LED flood lighting (the third of its kind in Australia), the project used money from the City of Cockburn ($4.78 million) State Government ($1.25m) and the hockey club ($500,000).
Men’s vice president Matt Allan said the quest for state-of-the-art turf had been a long time coming, with the club having first investigated an artificial playing surface almost two decades ago.
He said the club had previously lost players as their former base at Stephens Reserve in Fremantle had only grass fields, but their new home could be a catalyst for growth.
“To have a home, our own turf and to be able to offer pathways from four-year-olds all the way through to fully-fledged Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, it’s important for the club,” he said.
“In our men’s first team, we’ve got current and former Kookaburras, the standard is world-class and it’s great to be able to have world-class facilities to play on.”
“We’re looking forward to welcoming the wider Cockburn community. We’ve got Lakelands Senior High School next door; there’s a massive opportunity for us to put hockey programs into the school and build that younger membership.”
Club president Rob McPherson said moving the 86-year-old club to South Lake would facilitate its future growth to around 900 members within five years.
To celebrate their move and the facility’s opening, the club will be holding an open day on Sunday from 9am-3pm.