FORMER Olympic hockey player and coach Ric Charlesworth is putting pressure on the City of Nedlands to help secure a new hockey pitch and clubrooms for the Westside Wolves, which have been in the area for 90 years
The council voted against a staff recommendation in May to allow consultation on a Westside Wolves proposal for a hockey pitch and club rooms on the western side of Mt Claremont Oval, near Alfred Road and Montgomery Avenue.
More than 350 people have since signed an online petition supporting the proposal, with Dr Charlesworth saying hundreds more had signed a hard copy.
Western Suburbs Weekly spoke with Dr Charlesworth early on Wednesday morning as Wolves teams trained at Shenton Turf.
“Look at this pitch; three clubs share it, that’s why we need to start training at six in the morning with three teams on one field,” Dr Charlesworth said.
“There’s more than 90 senior teams that use this field, and many more juniors.”
Dr Charlesworth said the western suburbs were a hotspot for hockey in WA, with more than 5000 participants.
“We’re bereft of facilities here; synthetic pitches make sense when you’re increasing the density of the suburbs, which is inevitably going to happen, and those facilities for sport need to be maximised and used efficiently,” he said.
“I don’t know why these people are anti-sport. We’re not trying to build a high rise or knock over trees; there’s an area that’s designated for sport and we want to play on it.”
Nedlands chief executive Greg Trevaskis said the decision by council was made to consider other sites if available, and the Wolves along with other stakeholders would come together to discuss possibilities on August 9.
Dr Charlesworth said one of the sites suggested had been McGillivray Oval, south of which was a “toxic pit” millions of dollars and many years away from being ready for sport.
Mr Trevaskis said the City understood there were difficulties with the site, which was why State Government representatives would be attending the workshop to provide detailed advice on the suitability of the area.