New turf nets game future

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton Hockey girls teams are excited to play on the new turf
Camera IconBusselton Hockey girls teams are excited to play on the new turf Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Jackson Lavell-Lee

Busselton Hockey Stadium at Sir Stewart Bovell Sporting Complex has been returfed with an investment of about $250,000 raised privately by the Busselton Hockey Stadium Club.

Busselton Hockey Association boasts about 1000 players and a larger membership of parents, volunteers and supporters.

The facility is a major drawcard to the South West, with international teams from England, the Netherlands, Japan and Thailand previously playing at the stadium, and about 35 men’s masters teams set to play in the 2019 Australian Masters Championships in October.

Busselton Hockey Stadium manager Robyn McNeil said the previous turf had lasted 12 years, and with upkeep, this one would last longer.

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“The pitch was put in for the future of hockey and the kids here today are the future of hockey,” she said. “We are very proud of fully funding this new turf without government grants, saving for 12 years.”

Mayor Grant Henley said the new surface was a significant upgrade to the facility and all players were very excited for the start of the season.

“The hockey stadium at Bovell Oval is a regional-level facility servicing teams from neighbouring towns and local government areas and we expect this upgrade to be a major drawcard for the South West,” he said. “It will be tested out at national level later in the year when Busselton co-hosts the Australian Masters Hockey Championships.”

“It’s great for our domestic competition because our players will use the stadium the most and it will help them improve, staying at the club to be future committee members,” Ms McNeil added.

“We want to continue to grow the game — keep hockey at the forefront of people’s minds. We’re hoping to host an international competition next year.” Country team player Jordana Beynon said she was “really excited” to play on the new turf as the previous turf was slippery.

“It was tough, sometimes we would worry about falling over, but this turf will see an increase in skills and the speed of games,” she said.

The Busselton Hockey Association is looking for members, coaches and players for the upcoming season. All skill levels and ages are welcome.

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