After a decade long campaign, the Southern Highlands Hockey Association has secured the funds for a second synthetic turf field at Welby Oval.
Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell announced the association had secured a $374,622 grant from the NSW government’s stronger country communities fund on Friday afternoon.
“Southern Highlands Hockey will likely have to wait some time to begin development of the site given the hockey season is about to begin, but it will have a tremendous impact on recruitment,” Mr Rowell said.
Southern Highlands Hockey 2018 president Paul Sabatier said the grant gave the association the potential to host junior carnivals, masters meets and a state competition.
“This will mean, with our own savings, we can create a new surface. The whole site has always had a second pitch, but it means we’ll get an up-to-date, state-of-the-art, modern surface,” Sabatier said. “[The cost] is about $1 million with lights so we still have a funding gap but we can get the surface with the funds. Any help we can get with building this for the community would be great. It’s going to become a focal centre for different district events.”
Sabatier made special mention to David MacKay and the Hockey Turf Association on behalf of council.
“[David] and his team have been putting in grants at every opportunity, applying and lobbying at all levels of government. Finally we’ve been able to have this announcement, just at the right time to kick start our year,” he said. “We’re spade ready. We’ve got plans, as part of the application process we had to run a tender, we’ve got our specifications ready to go. With the support of Hockey NSW we can have teams on the ground, and with council approval we can start straight away.”
If you a business or individual that would like to support the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrations for the upcoming hockey season will open this month. Families can find the details of the seven clubs and two schools with junior and senior hockey teams at www.revolutionise.com.au/shh or search for Southern Highlands Hockey.