A NEW international-standard hockey facility was officially opened at Huntingdale’s Sutherlands Park on Monday.
The $2.6m facility, which includes a new synthetic pitch and LED floodlighting, is already being enjoyed by the Southern River Hockey Club teams preparing for summer competitions.
City of Gosnells mayor Glenn Dewhurst said initial feedback had been positive.
“This is the first synthetic hockey pitch in the south-east metropolitan region, and the first community hockey pitch in the region to have LED floodlighting,” he said.
“It’s going to be a huge benefit to local hockey players, from juniors just starting out in the sport, to seniors and even masters teams.
“Because it’s been built to international standards, the pitch will provide opportunities to host international teams at a local facility, and provide clearer playing pathways to local hockey players working their way to elite levels of the sport.”
Southern River Hockey Club president John Heath said they were “over the moon” with the changes.
“Our juniors now have the best of the best facility in which to grow and develop,” he said.
“The benefits are a better quality of game and a higher skill level, less injuries and better recovery for the athletes
“The new turf means the ability to develop our own athletes and not having to see our best juniors leave to go to other clubs with turfs to further their development, we can now do it at our own club with our own coaches.”
The City of Gosnells and the State Government each contributed $828,000 for the project, the Southern River Hockey Club contributing $472, 000 and the remaining $1.3 million was funded through the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants Program.
Southern River MLA Terry Healy said the upgraded facility would have a positive impact on health and inclusion in the area.
“I’m a big supporter of our local sporting clubs, and it’s great to see our Southern River Hockey Club benefiting from upgrades to their facilities,” he said.